Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Ballot Initiative Launches Campaign

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An important ballot initiative is launching their campaign tomorrow.
Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona would require that the state’s utilities provide 50% of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. This would be up from 15% by 2025.
The campaign is launching Tuesday, Feb. 13 following the filing of paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State. Advocates are trying to increase Arizona’s use of renewable energy and this initiative will amend the Arizona Constitution.

“Using more clean energy will result in cleaner air and better health for our children and families,” said Dr. John Swagert, CEO of Mountain Park Health Center. “Arizona has high rates of respiratory ailments like asthma, and less air pollution from coal-burning power plants will mean fewer cases of childhood asthma, lung and heart disease.”

The state’s current Renewable Energy Standard, set by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2006, requires utilities to get 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. This is a level below most of the other 38 states with renewable goals or standards.

“More than almost any other state, Arizona has an enormous opportunity to generate clean renewable energy from the sun,” said, Eduardo Sainz, Arizona State Director, Mi Familia Vota. “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative will allow us to finally take advantage of an almost unlimited supply of cheap, clean solar energy.”

There are many benefits of increasing this benchmark and the use of renewable energy sources. The wind and solar industries creates a wide variety of new jobs, from engineering to manufacturing to installation of materials and office workers.

“Arizona has already created thousands of clean energy jobs, and increasing the state’s renewable energy goals will create even more economic growth,” said, Tracy Perkins, small business owner. “We’ve also seen renewable energy prices plummet in recent years, which means lower and more stable reliable utility bills for Arizona families and businesses. In order to keep Arizona competitive, we must take advantage of this energy opportunity.”

Clean energy also protects Arizona’s remarkable wild and scenic vistas and habitats such as Grand Canyon National Park, and creates a more diverse and reliable energy grid that’s less susceptible to natural disasters, terrorist threats or foreign manipulation.

While electric utilities publicize their increasing use of renewable energy, the reality is that the biggest single source of energy in Arizona remains the burning of coal and other fossil fuels that pollute our air and water and leave us vulnerable to wild swings in energy prices.

The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee will hold a press conference on Tuesday, February 13, at 10 a.m. to launch its campaign at Mountain Park Health Center, 1840 E. Broadway, Tempe.

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I am a multimedia journalist and proud graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. I am originally from Minnesota, and I love learning about my second home, Arizona, and all of it's awesome communities through my contributions to My Local News! When I was a little girl, I created my own "newspaper" for my neighborhood and spent all my time writing, printing and sending each edition to my loyal subscribers (AKA my family and neighbors!). Now, it's a dream come true to be able to write everyday and have a positive impact on communities through my reporting. In my free time, I love to travel, hike, cook and spend time with my family and friends.