ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Paul Newman on Renewable Energy Standards

As a part of our coverage for the Arizona Corporation Commission race, ScrambleWatch asked Democrat Paul Newman about the role of the agency in setting policy about clean energy.

Is the free market the proper mechanism to promote cleaner energy or should government be involved?

I think that the renewable energy standard that has been in place for a short time is not a pure market vision, but it needs to be there. I totally disagree with the Goldwater Institutes position that it’s unconstitutional. I do believe that there needs to be that incentive to make the public utility companies implement the beginning of Arizona a net export solar state.

What do you think of the current Renewable Energy Standard?

I think it’s a step in the right direction, and what we need to do is keep the feet to the fire of the utility companies and make sure that they implement it. Right now, less than half of a percent is implemented, and it’s now a 15 percent standard. I’m willing to stay with that standard right now, but I want to make sure that the utility companies go in the right direction and implement this standard in a way that will affect rates to a minimal degree.

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