As a part of our coverage for the Arizona Corporation Commission race, ScrambleWatch asked Republican Bob Stump 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 it needs to be both. I’ve said publicly on many occasions that I think it was appropriate that the ACC set an inspirational goal of 15 percent to nudge utilities in the right direction. Obviously the 15 percent will have to be reviewed annually, as it is by the ACC to ensure that market conditions and the latest technological innovations are in place, to ensure that utilities can meet that 15 percent. I do think government has a role to play in terms of our energy future.
What do you think of the current Renewable Energy Standard?
I think it would be helpful to review the actual contents of the portfolio. Biomass, for instance, is not always the cleanest burning of the quote unquote renewables and it may lead to deforestation. I would look at biomass to make sure that’s an appropriate component in the renewable package. There’s been some talk of adding nuclear to it as well. Nuclear, as we know, is a very clean source of energy. Not so much the 15 percent as the actual contents of the portfolio would be helpful to review. As I said, the ACC reviews it on an annual basis anyway. That’s why I think its appropriate to see it as an aspirational goal than as a mandate that’s set in stone.