Letter: Solar industry impact more valuable than opinion piece states - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Solar industry impact more valuable than opinion piece states

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 12:09 pm

The Arizona Corporation Commission has a responsibility to Arizona citizens and utility ratepayers to decide cases based on their merits and the facts. Tom Patterson in his Aug. 14 commentary ignored the facts in his attempt to sway public opinion in favor of an APS proposal before the Commission that would change the rules regarding solar energy.

Most alarming was his attack on hard-working Arizonans that work in the solar industry. Recent reports from industry analysts estimate that there are nearly 10,000 such workers in Arizona. These workers are employed in science, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and installation.

Mr. Patterson would have us believe that the solar industry’s economic impact is unimportant and that if we pulled the plug on solar “other energy producers would eagerly fill the employment void.” Really? I have yet to read a report that states the Arizona coal! industry could put 10,000 more people to work mining coal. Ironically, between the state’s 16 existing coal plants and the state’s coal mining operations, there are only 1,500 people employed in the coal industry in Arizona today.

Mr. Patterson concluded his commentary by stating that the ACC should let APS sort it out without more “help” from the government. What Mr. Patterson is suggesting is that the ACC should ignore its constitutional duty and the people of Arizona should trust a monopoly to determine what rules it wants to play by.

Disinformation hurts all of us. Thankfully, the ACC will decide this issue based on the facts.

Jim Arwood

Phoenix

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