Arizona justices reject challenge to green energy tariff

By Chris Rizo | Sep 24, 2008

Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-A lawsuit challenging a requirement that public utilities in Arizona can be required to obtain a portion of their electricity from renewable resources was rejected by the state Supreme Court.

The Goldwater Institute filed the challenge in June to the Arizona Corporation Commission's requirement that utilities get power from such renewable sources as solar and wind.

Named in the legal challenge were state Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat, and five corporation commissioners.

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute claimed in court papers that the Corporation Commission overstepped its authority when it passed a rule in 2006 that requires the public utilities to obtain at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

To help the Arizona Public Service Co. pay for the green energy requirement, the Corporations Commission approved a tariff, in which residential APS customers can be charged a maximum of $1.32 a month.

Small businesses have a tariff capped at $48.84, and industrial customers pay a maximum of $146.53 a month.

The Goldwater Institute, a free-market group, said in June that the
rule allowing special tariff will cost ratepayers millions of dollars.

"The rules are an unconstitutional power grab by an agency that is rapidly becoming Arizona's fourth branch of government," said Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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