H.B.2701, an Arizona House Bill that solar energy executives and other stakeholders have criticized as potentially detrimental to the solar sector in the state, has been pulled from consideration.
The bill, proposed by Rep. Debbie Lesko, would have allowed utilities to count nuclear energy toward their renewable portfolio standard requirements. According to numerous local solar companies, it also would have set a more burdensome regulatory scheme for companies and utilities, introducing more government involvement in regulation.
‘Representative Lesko's wise and thoughtful actions today to withdraw H.B.2701 should be lauded,’ Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., said in a statement. ‘This sends a clear and united message to employers around the world – Arizona remains the premier destination for solar industries.’
Widespread industry backlash against the bill – and against the Arizona State Legislature that introduced it – prompted Kirk Adams, Speaker of the House, to issue a statement defending the House's record on pro-solar policy.
‘Recent news stories have depicted the Arizona House of Representatives as being anti-solar energy, and unconcerned about the development of emerging renewably energy technologies,’ he said. ‘As the elected leader of the House, I wish to set the record straight.’
‘When it comes to renewable energy policy, Arizona takes a back seat to no one, not Texas, not Oregon,’ Adams said. ‘We fully intend to keep it that way.’