Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Arizona Sells Solar Energy to Other States

Ok... maybe you realized that this is a fake headline. Arizona is not currently selling solar energy to other states, but why not? Arizona -- more than any other state in the US -- has an abundance of sunshine that could be harnessed to create electricity. (In mid-July, some might say we have an over-abundance of sunshine. LOL)

During the 2007 session of the Arizona Legislature, Representative Steve Farley sponsored a bill to subsidize installation of solar panels for all Arizona residents who want them. According to Farley, if Arizona had around 90 square miles of solar panels, the state could sell solar energy to other states. Sounds like a great idea to me. We would be using something (sunshine) that we have plenty of, promoting the renewable energy, and making some money for the state coffers.

So, why wasn't this bill passed by the Legislature in 2007? The simple answer is that Republicans killed it. (Since they are the majority party in the Legislature, they control which bills get out of committee and which ones receive a fair hearing by other legislators.) Farley plans to introduce the solar energy bill again during the 2008 session.

I'd also like to know where the media was on this? I knew nothing of the solar energy bill until I heard Farley speak at a local Democratic Party event. I believe that many Arizona voters would see the benefit in this legislation. The media let the citizenry down my not publicizing this important bill.

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