PHOENIX – Twenty-nine Arizona solar businesses issued a letter to the White House today, endorsing limits on carbon pollution from power plants and advocating that solar energy become a focal point of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
“As solar power installers, manufacturers, designers, aggregators, product suppliers, and consultants, we welcome the EPA’s unveiling of the Clean Power Plan,” reads the letter, organized by the advocacy group Environment Arizona. “This plan is a critical step toward transforming our energy system to one that protects our health and environment, and that of our children.”
To address the growing threat of climate change, in June the U.S. EPA proposed its Clean Power Plan, which would require power plants in Arizona to cut carbon emissions 52 percent by 2030. The plan is open for public comment until December 1st, and could be finalized by next year.
States will have the flexibility to meet the limits introduced by the Clean Power Plan as they choose. Businesses signing the letter said the proposal could dramatically accelerate the development of clean energy across Arizona.
"There is more than enough free, clean energy resources available to meet our energy needs many times over without poisoning the air and water around us," said Brandon Cheshire, CEO of Phoenix-based SunHarvest Solar and Electrical. "The Clean Power Plan is the catalyst to shift towards substantial deployment of renewable energy, which will create jobs, get us the power we need, and build a better world in the process."
Solar power is on the rise across the state, where every week another new home or business goes solar. According to the latest solar jobs census from the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employed more than 8,550 people in Arizona in 2013.
“It doesn’t make sense for Arizona to source over a third of its energy mix from coal when we have the opportunity to diversify and become national and international leaders in a clean, abundant energy source like solar,” said Robert Dallal, director of Natural Power and Energy. “The Clean Power Plan takes an important step towards leveling the playing field for clean energy.”
Environment Arizona’s counterparts around the country recruited more than 500 solar businesses nationwide to the sign the letter, which was delivered today to the White House.
“The climate crisis demands that we fulfill our vast potential for solar energy,” said Malcolm Mossman, organizer with Environment Arizona, “and the businesses here in Arizona and across the nation are ready to rise to the challenge.”