O’Connell: Arizonans need a modern energy plan

The Arizona Corporation Commission is considering increasing the state’s renewable energy standard and taking steps to encourage and support the increased use of electric vehicles.

Roselyn O’Connell

We need strong action on both fronts to lower our electricity and transportation costs.

Here in the nation’s sunniest state, electricity produced with solar energy is already cheaper than electricity from natural gas and coal generation. In fact, electricity from new solar is selling for roughly half the cost of gas generation and one fourth the cost of power from aging coal plants.

Replacing power from retiring coal plants with cheap and abundant Arizona solar is the key to lower electricity rates.

Providing adequate charging stations to keep pace with electric vehicle growth is another way to save Arizonan’s money. Not only do studies show that electric vehicles are cheaper to operate and maintain than their gasoline counterparts, charging stations provide a new revenue source for utilities that can also lead to lower utility rates.

By being bold and forward thinking on these two fronts, the ACC can provide Arizona with brighter, more affordable and secure energy future — one that will bring enormous economic opportunity and help our state attract new businesses.

Nothing could be more prudent and conservative than choosing an energy path that plays to our state’s unique strengths. It is not only the right choice for our pocketbooks, but also the right choice to safeguard the quality of our air and water.

Editor’s Note: Roselyn O’Connell is a Scottsdale resident.

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