Cronkite News Service
ANDREW J. SHAINKER
Cronkite News Service
PHOENIX – Bob Stump, a Republican running for the Arizona Corporation Commission, says an agreement in which Arizona would join other Western states and some Canadian provinces to cut greenhouse gas emissions should involve the regulatory body and state lawmakers.
“Any agreement must include the input of the Corporation Commission and the Legislature, and any effective cap-and-trade system must operate on a national, not regional basis,” said Stump, who represents parts of Peoria and other nearby communities in the Arizona House of Representatives. “Otherwise, Arizona jobs will be lost and our economy will suffer.”
Stump, who answered questions via e-mail, said the Corporation Commission must be involved in any such agreement to make sure that utility rates don’t escalate to a degree that harms ratepayers.
Arizona, six other states and four Canadian provinces that are part of the Western Climate Initiative in September unveiled a plan to cut their greenhouse emissions by 2020 to 15 percent below 2005 levels. It includes a cap on emissions that decreases over time and a system that would allow utilities and other businesses to trade pollution rights or offset emissions through actions such as planting trees.
Gov. Janet Napolitano and others involved in the effort have said they are acting in the absence of federal leadership on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions.
While Stump said he supports the Corporation Commission’s requirement that Arizona utilities get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025, he also said the fast-growing state must focus on various sources.
“We need a diverse portfolio of energy options – fossil-based, nuclear and renewable – to meet our state’s growing demand for power,” Stump said.
Stump, who has served in the state House since 2002 and chairs the House Committee on Health, is a native of Honolulu and worked as a journalist before moving to Arizona in 1995.
He said his focus in running for Corporation Commission is securing Arizona’s energy and water future.
“As a commissioner, I will continue to place the interests of ratepayers first, much as I have placed the concerns of taxpayers first as a legislator,” Stump said.
“A commissioner must ask the tough questions of utilities to ensure that they are managing their assets wisely and are providing air-tight justifications for any rate increase they propose,” Stump said.
Part of securing Arizona’s energy future, Stump said, is taking greater advantage of nuclear power.
“France produces 80 percent of its energy from nuclear, a cheap, emissions-free energy source,” Stump said.
Another goal for Stump is protecting citizens from fraud, which is a key role of the commission.
ACC race: Stump says commission should have role in greenhouse gas plan
MORE PROFILES OF ACC CANDIDATES ON 11-12A
Professional experience: Journalist, business owner
Public service: Arizona House of Representatives, 2002-present
Education: Master of theological studies, Harvard University; bachelor’s degree in philosophy and social thought, University of California, Berkeley