Renewable energy push in sunny Arizona draws political fight

This article discusses how an energy company is fighting a mandate for Arizona to obtain its half its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Arizona’s largest utility is fiercely opposing a push to mandate increased use of renewable energy in the sun-drenched state, setting up a political fight over a measure funded by a California billionaire.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona aims to ask voters whether they want the state Constitution to require half of Arizona’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. The group plans to file more than 225,000 signatures Thursday get the question on the November ballot.

Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer is financing the initiative through his NextGen Climate Action group, which supported similar efforts in Nevada and Michigan. But only the Arizona measure spawned a political battle, with the Republican-controlled Legislature passing a rule to help insulate utilities and the parent company of the state’s largest electricity provider bankrolling opposition messaging.

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