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Cunningham: New TEP franchise settlement is flawed however mandatory

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Paul Cunningham represents Ward 2 on the Tucson Metropolis Council.

I acknowledge that Tucson Electrical Energy negotiated with the town in good religion to search out ways in which the utility might be a greater associate with the town of Tucson and assist us obtain our local weather targets. Many individuals know I’ve lengthy been important of the vitality service mannequin that we function below with TEP. Let’s face it, TEP executives reply to their shareholders, not the residents of Tucson, they usually wish to have a 12% fee of return.

Our public utility, Tucson Water, makes 0% revenue and it places the residents of Tucson first. There was speak about making TEP right into a public utility, and my workers and I’ve regarded into this. The authorized, monetary and bureaucratic points proved to be insurmountable. We aren’t geared up to have a public electrical utility within the metropolis of Tucson anytime quickly.

In 2020, the mayor and Metropolis Council established a aim of carbon neutrality by 2030. To that finish, we’ve got performed issues like transferring our fleets to electrical and different gasoline. Measures like which are vital, however electrical energy manufacturing is the most important supply of carbon emissions.

To that finish, Prop. 412 finds a artistic resolution by means of the Neighborhood Resilience Payment. A right away impact will probably be to assist the town of Tucson keep away from extra excessive voltage energy strains slicing by means of neighborhoods. Extra importantly, nonetheless, it gives $75 million to deal with local weather change and create new alternatives for renewable vitality.

For this reason I help the brand new franchise settlement.

The underside line is that Proposition 412 would give us essentially the most progressive franchise settlement within the state by way of funding electrical automobile infrastructure, clear vitality sources and warmth mitigation efforts.

Needless to say there are different sensible causes for a franchise settlement. Presently below the franchise settlement, TEP has to work with us after we do main street tasks and accommodate them by transferring their strains and tools.

With no franchise settlement, these must be negotiated for each venture. We had a significant street venture in my ward that was delayed for months due to an absence of an settlement with one other utility.

Is that this settlement good? No, however I consider that it’s higher than our present settlement.

For instance, it features a overview in 10 years. Would I like TEP to be a greater associate with regards to small scale solar energy tasks? Definitely. Do I want that TEP wasn’t asking the Arizona Company Fee for a 12% fee enhance on the similar time that they’re asking Tucson voters to fund local weather motion and utility undergrounding? In fact I do. Do I wish to spend one other three years below a franchise settlement with no provisions for local weather motion? Heck no. That’s why I stand by my vote to position Prop. 412 on the poll and I ask Tucson voters to contemplate voting sure.

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