ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Keith Swapp on Renewable Energy Standards

As a part of our coverage for the Arizona Corporation Commission race, ScrambleWatch asked Republican Keith Swapp 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?

The government doesn’t need to be involved. Coming from 30 years of working with environmentalists, I know exactly how they think and what they do and I think the normal, responsible citizen can take and manage a clean environment very, very well. We’re all pretty good managers of the environment anyways, there’s a few people who aren’t. Like cops, if you have one bad cop it makes the rest of them look bad. If you have one or two people who don’t want to make our environment nice, they make the rest look bad. I think more than not, more people are good environmentalists and they can take and manage a good clean environment without the help of the government.

What do you think of the current Renewable Energy Standard?

You have two scenarios with the Renewable Energy Standard. You have the standard itself, and you have the mandate (forcing utility companies to achieve 15 percent of their energy output by “renewable energy by 2025). What a lot of people don’t like is the mandate involved. I’m all for renewable energy standards, but the mandate, I want to get rid of that. That pulls money out of your and my pocket, and we’re going to see if we can get a reversal on that.

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