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Arizona utility regulators again reject clean energy rules

The vote drew sharp criticism from clean energy advocates who say the decision leaves the state far behind what's needed to address climate change.

PHOENIX — Arizona’s utility regulators have again rejected new rules drastically boosting the use of renewable energy. 

The 2-3 vote by the Arizona Corporation Commission drew sharp criticism from clean energy advocates who say the decision leaves the state far behind what's needed to address climate change.

The commission's three Republicans joined to defeat the new standards that were backed by the state’s utilities, large and small businesses, environmental groups and even faith leaders. 

The rules would have required the state’s utilities to get 50% of their power from sources that do not emit carbon dioxide by 2035 and 100% by 2070. 

The commission rejected stronger rules last May.

What is the Valley?:

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest.  

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:  

  • Mesa  

  • Chandler  

  • Scottsdale  

  • Tempe  

  • Glendale  

  • Surprise  

  • Peoria  

  • Gilbert  

  • El Mirage 

  • Avondale 

  • Litchfield Park 

  • Goodyear 

  • Buckeye 

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.  

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas. 

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