Clean Energy Now Campaign Comes To Payson

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Representatives of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) are coming to Payson the week of July 25, 2005, as part of their Clean Energy Now Campaign.

The Clean Energy Now Campaign is focused on bringing more clean, renewable energy, such as solar and wind power to Arizona.

The campaign representatives are coming to Payson to speak with concerned citizens through a door-to-door canvass as the Arizona Corporation Commission, the state's utility regulatory commission, is poised to make a landmark energy decision that will impact Arizona for years to come, according to information from the group.

"By promoting policies to grow our use of solar, wind, clean biomass (plant-based) and geothermal energy to power our homes and businesses, we will move down a clean energy path that will protect public health, give us more energy independence, provide a more stable energy supply and improve rural economies," said Mike Somers, representative of Arizona PIRG,

A recent report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund examines the impact of developing enough renewable energy to supply 10 percent of total electricity consumption by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. According to "Renewing Arizona's Economy: The Clean Energy Path to Jobs and Economic Growth," between 2005 and 2020, investing in renewable energy would:

  • Create jobs, increasing net employment by an annual average of 380 jobs per year, for a total of 6,100 person-years by 2020;
  • Increase wages by a net annual average of $66 million, with a total net present value of $570 million;
  • Increase the gross state product by a net annual average of $200 million, with a net present value of $1.6 billion;
  • Help rural areas, directly generating over $600 million in property taxes to fund education and other local government services;
  • Save water, conserving a total of 23 billion gallons; and
  • Reduce pollution; in the year 2020 annually avoiding emissions of:

More than 11,000 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxide (the equivalent of taking over 500,000 cars off the road);

More than 9,000 tons of soot-forming sulfur dioxide (13 percent of 2000 emissions from electricity generation); and 8 million tons of global-warming inducing carbon dioxide (the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road).

"Renewable energy means more jobs, more wages, more economic output, and more energy dollars flowing in state," Somers said. "Renewable energy also means less pollution and less adverse public health impacts. The Arizona Corporation Commission is moving in the right direction and now should choose a solid path to clean, renewable energy, such as solar and wind power and increase the state's Environmental Portfolio Standard to 10 percent by 2010 and 20 percent by 2020."

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) is a statewide public interest advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.arizonapirg.org, send an e-mail to info@arizonapirg.org, or call (602) 252-9227.

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