The House Government Committee today approved HB2701 that critics argue will effectively kill renewable energy development in Arizona. The measure would dramatically change the rules for regulatory approval, add the Legislature to the approval process, and define nuclear energy as renewable energy. No new renewable would be needed to meet the state's 15% Renewable Portfolio Standard, since nuclear power already exceeds that amount. While most attention has been on solar energy, it could impact the numerous geothermal companies we've been hearing from in recent months.
Renewable energy companies have been warning that it will also cause them to rethink operating in or relocating to Arizona. [right, artists conception of an Arizona solar energy farm. Credit, Arizona Solar Energy Industry Association]
The Arizona Republic paper editorialized against the bill today.