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3/26/2014 6:02:00 AM
Report: Energy efforts making a difference in Arizona
Various types of solar panels are used at the 33-acre Arizona Public Service Solar Technology and Research Center in Tempe. An environmental group says energy-efficiency standards, clean car-requirements and initiatives supporting renewable energy are making a difference in Arizona. (GRAYSON STEINBERG/Cronkite News)
Various types of solar panels are used at the 33-acre Arizona Public Service Solar Technology and Research Center in Tempe. An environmental group says energy-efficiency standards, clean car-requirements and initiatives supporting renewable energy are making a difference in Arizona. (GRAYSON STEINBERG/Cronkite News)
By Brittany Elena Morris
Cronkite News

PHOENIX - Energy-efficiency requirements, rules on auto-emissions and policies promoting renewable energy helped Arizona prevent 3.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in 2012, according to a report by an environmental group.

However, Bret Fanshaw, state advocate for Environment Arizona, said the state should be doing even more to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"I think it's a great start, but the writing is on the wall: Arizona should be looking for more ways to reform," he said.

The Environment America Research and Policy Center assessed clean-energy initiatives and greenhouse gas emissions in each state to develop its estimates.

Of Arizona's total, the report attributed a savings of 2.18 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to energy-efficiency requirements and standards, while it said clean-cars programs and renewable-energy policies were responsible for savings of 720,000 and 630,000 metric tons, respectively, during 2012.

Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter, said the growth of solar panels on Arizona homes is helping cut down on carbon emissions.

"Arizona's No. 1 priority is solar energy," she said. "Our best natural resource is the surplus of sunny days."

The Arizona Corporation Commission has required utilities it regulates to generate at least 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025.

State Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, who authored a bill this session that would prohibit local governments from requiring energy efficiency, energy conservation or green construction in new buildings, said he doesn't give the study much credit because he sees no conclusive evidence of global warming.

"It's a ploy to make money," Crandell said. "Without carbon dioxide our plants will suffer. It's an important part a plant's life cycle."

Bahr said conservative state lawmakers have blinders on when it comes to the environment.

"Our legislators have their heads in the sand and don't recognize the authority of the federal government or the Environmental Protection Agency," she said. "As a result, our environment and economy suffer."

Fanshaw said global warming is intensifying the state's summers and drought, making it important to address significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions such as power plants.

"Limiting carbon pollution from power plants would build on Arizona's success," Fanshaw said. "People are becoming little power plants with their solar panels, and that's the future that I want to see."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

The U.S. not becoming energy independent is continuing to line the pockets of middle east dictators and they don't want us independent from their oil.
Solar panels are made in China and that lines their pockets and the panels cost too much, solar farms take precious land and the wind towers kill every species of bird known including the Bald Eagle which the American Indian cannot even use feathers in their traditional ceremonies. Climate change and renewable "green" energy are both farces by environmentalist and hypocrites!


Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis McElyea Smith

Why is climate change/global warming being used as a scare everyone tactic? Money involved?
This is insanity, this country has done well to clean the environment even going so far to sending majority manufacturing to China who doesn't obviously give a flip about air quality.
The U.S. also is now paying Russia $70mil. per seat on shuttles to space station and my, just look at the emission and pollution every time one of those things leave earth, oh, not to mention all the mortars and missile testing by N. Korea, Assad bombing his own country like an out of control kid having a tantrum and on it goes.
Want something done about climate and any warming one might be concerned with? Stop all the afore mentioned activities that are occurring on daily basis!
First of August 2011 Mrs. Clinton was in Rio and made a generous $2billion down payment to the UN EPA. That is a complete waste as far as I am concerned.


Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014
Article comment by: vock canyon

energy companies have nothing to worry about, the new fees that are being charged new residential solar system owners are discouraging new installations. Why build more huge publicly funded plants when private residential solar systems can provide all the power we need. Simple answer: only the homeowners benefit from private residential solar installs, NOT the big energy corps. call your legislator and insist that this fee be removed.

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

It's not surprising that Ms. Athens is so opposed to any type of solar or wind power since she claims to have lost a good deal of money in an investment related to this type of energy alternative.

Although the details of this situation aren't clear, a bad investment whether it be the fault of the investor or the entity invested in does not equate to a technology being inherently bad, some type of scheme or even conspiracy.

However a situation similar to this may set up a bias against the technology and related situations that this technology is trying to address such as global warming... whereupon a person influenced by this bias may go to any lengths to discredit either the technolgy or phenomena or both.

Now far be it for me to speculate that this is at least partially the case with Ms. Athens, but when one reads her comments in relation to these matters...well, what can I say, is it possible? Why would someone have invested a quite sizable sum of money in something they didn't believe in? Could it be a case of "I believed in it then, but I don't believe in it now?"

Hmm...


Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Article comment by: M e

Oil companies are being demonized because they won't sleep specially with the federal government, Yes it is good to have other sources of energy but this is all about: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I just hope we will never have blackouts like most countries out there.


Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Article comment by: Bob Moore

Ms Athens

“Global warming is a terrible world wide hoax...”

I fear it is time that you make a decision as to which side of this argument you are going to support. Last week you supported the charlatan and liar David Barton who made definitive statements that climate change exists and is man caused. You have said “David Barton is the best,” and have previously stated David Barton is “the most intelligent person I have ever known.”

In what has to be the most asinine leap of logic ever conceived Barton said in an interview with another charlatan evangelical money-grubber Kenneth Copeland that climate change is the result of – wait for it - abortion, brought about God’s judgment upon the world. These two charlatans came to the following conclusions, 1) America voted in politicians who support abortion rights, and 2) In so doing, we “opened the door to the curse,” which includes floods, tornadoes, murder and pedophilia. And Barton concluded with, “We opened a door that lost God’s protection over our environment and that’s our choice.”

You now claim “Global warming is a terrible world wide hoax.” Please explain which side of this argument you actually support?


Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Global warming is a terrible world wide hoax...”

As usual your expertise in yet another subject is dramatically missing in facts.

”It's impact is so disastrous, it has to be called demonic.”

Yes, climate change is disastrous, but to blame it on “demons” is rather… well you know.

“You can take that rule to the bank.”

No, you cannot because it is not a “rule” it’s just more of the usual righties rhetoric against the UN.

”It's not by accident the good Lord loaded this Christian country with natural resources.”

Once more, no matter how many times you say it, we are not a Christian nation.

“Solar and wind are ridiculous, expensive, don't work.”

Yes, they do work and your raving on and on and on will not alter the facts.

”…do yourselves a favor and study the far reaching, far, far left leanings of the Sierra Clubs.”

Tell you what, why don’t YOU explain the far, far left leanings of the Sierra Club?” We all need some more laughs.


Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Thank you Senator!

Global warming is a terrible world wide hoax that is costing companies billions.

It's impact is so disastrous, it has to be called demonic. If people would get into it and study the fraud that it is, they would realize the terrible lasting, world wide effects this lying crap will have on us all and especially on first world countries since behind it all is MONEY, MONEY, MONEY being re-distributed to third world countries headed by dictators who hate America.

A quick rule of thumb. If the UN is for it, you can bet it will be a disaster for the US. You can take that rule to the bank.

It's not by accident the good Lord loaded this Christian country with natural resources. Solar and wind are ridiculous, expensive, don't work.

And please people, do yourselves a favor and study the far reaching, far, far left leanings of the Sierra Clubs. .


Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Article comment by: Vote in November

There is no reason Arizona shouldn't be the leader in solar energy. Well, there is. Politicians like state Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber. "It's a ploy to make money." No, it is a sensible solution to the need for energy. Exactly what interests are these politicians working for? It is clear that the majority of Arizonans see the value of solar energy yet we have these politicians like Sen. Heber that wants us to live in the dark ages. I still wonder why? In any case we need to vote out those that refuse to work for our interests. Get out and vote.



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