As a corporation commissioner, before making any decision, I always ask myself: Will this be good for Arizonans and the long-term future of our state? That’s why I’m laser-focused on the American Jobs Plan’s clean energy and infrastructure investments. Arizona is already building its new clean energy economy, and elected officials like me should see our role as facilitators and boosters of this essential chance for growth.
In that role, my priority is making sure President Biden’s American Jobs Plan becomes law. The president’s plan is our road to thousands of good-paying, union jobs in clean energy. It will support the clean energy economy we are building in our state already; make investments that will grow our infrastructure, our capacity for energy innovation; and allow us to correct the wrongs of environmental injustice. Above all, it will achieve this economic growth while taking on the threat of climate change.
It’s a plan for prosperity in Arizona and across the country.
A poll out recently suggests overwhelming and bipartisan support for the American Jobs Plan and its clean energy investments, and I believe it is a necessity for Arizona: We must be using innovative renewable and carbon free energy as an economic development opportunity. We must be doing all we can to promote clean and carbon free energy sources, championing energies like solar, hydrogen and wind power. And we must acknowledge the singularity of this opportunity to create jobs and build economic output while also combating climate change.
In Arizona, I focus much of my time on strengthening our renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and increasing them from their current level — right now, Arizona utilities are required to generate at least 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. I don’t think this is enough; it’s an outdated mandate created nearly two decades ago that doesn’t meet the current needs of Arizona in addressing climate issues or encouraging economic development. We need an ambitious, yet realistic, RPS goal for our state. Any new RPS plan must also have built-in protections for lower-income residents.
Details like this are the reason I’m so moved to work towards passage of the American Jobs Plan. We are immersed in the effort of clean energy investments and infrastructure; every day, I work with the private and educational sectors to identify opportunities for workforce development and training programs in innovative infrastructure, as well as capitalizing on new energy technologies that attract and retain quality jobs for Arizonans.
To be successful in that work, I need Congress and President Biden to pass the American Jobs Plan and put essential clean energy and infrastructure investments into motion.
President Biden has a plan to tackle climate change and create millions of jobs, and I’m proud to support it. We are in a moment that demands clean energy and infrastructure investments in Arizona, and each of us has a role to play in ensuring this moment doesn’t pass us by.