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03/01/2010 12:18 PM     print story email story  

Arizona Backs Down: Nukes Aren't Renewable Energy News

Arizona state representative Debbie Lesko (R - Glendale) withdrew a bill she proposed that would have changed Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to allow the inclusion of nuclear power and hydropower.

The bill essentially would have erased the mandate for 15%  renewable power in the state, because the state's largest utility Arizona Public Service already gets 27% of its power from a nuclear plant.

The proposed bill created a huge stir last week, drawing strong protest from wind power and solar companies, including Suntech Power Holdings (Nasdaq: STP), which suggested it may back out of plans to build its first US fatory in the state.

The bill also would have stripped the state's regulatory board (Arizona Corporation Commission) of its authority to set renewable power mandates. 

But the legislature quickly backpedaled from the proposal. House Speaker Kirk Adams issued a statement. "As a high-growth state, Arizona must have an energy plan to match our energy demand, now and in the future," he said. "Renewable energy, and solar in particular, must play a vital role."

Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who recently pulled Arizona out of the cap-and-trade plan being developed by the Western Climate Initiative--praise Lesko's decision to withdraw the bill.

"This sends a clear and united message to employers around the world: Arizona remains the premiere destination for solar industries," Brewer said in a statement.

In Other State News...

Drought-stricken farmers and cities across California were granted a measure of relief on Friday when federal and state officials said they expected to supply significantly more water this year than last.

Read the full Reuters story at the link below.


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