In Arizona this week, Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed legislation that she said would have a “deep chilling effect on renewable energy deployment” in the state.
Addressing the Speaker of the House, Ben Toma, in a letter, Hobbs explained that the bill, HB 2618, not only “encourages an inconsistent statewide patchwork of regulations for renewable energy projects,” it also “creates additional regulatory confusion for businesses.”
The bill would have amended state statutes regarding solar and wind generating power plants by imposing a series of complicated new regulations for plant owners and developers. They include providing exacting zoning standards, site-specific conditions and permitting requirements for cities, towns and counties to adopt; maintaining a form of “financial assurance,” most likely a bond, just in case the plant owner goes bankrupt or abandons the project; and mandating that plant owners submit a decommissioning and site restoration plan before a land use or permit application would be granted.
Ultimately HB 2618, wrote the governor, would have a negative impact on “Arizona’s ability to attract, retain and grow a renewable energy ecosystem in our state and create good-paying jobs.”
The Sierra Club and the Interwest Energy Alliance, a group of renewable energy project developers and manufacturers, also opposed the bill, agreeing with the governor, who closed her letter by inviting legislators to collaborate with her on “identifying consistent and predictable solutions to renewable energy permitting and decomissioning regulation.”
Photo by Sam Cumming at Unsplash.