Kneel Before Arizona!
Our guest columnist this afternoon is Gary Pierce of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Dear Mayor Villaraigosa:
I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).
You explained your support for the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)
I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.
If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.
People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.
Response to the LA Boycott by AZ Corp Commissioner [Scribd, via Ana Marie Cox]
Update: Replying to our afternoon guest columnist is our evening guest columnist Austin Beutner, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
I want to make clear that we support the City position regarding the recent law enacted in Arizona and the resolution adopted by the Los Angeles City Council.
On any given day, we receive 20 – 25% of our power from two power plants located in Arizona: Navajo, a coal-fired plant, and Palo Verde, a nuclear plant.
We are part owner of both power plants, which are generating assets of the Department. As such, nothing in the City’s resolution is inconsistent with our continuing to receive power from those LADWP-owned assets.
I might add that, as the City’s Job Czar, I certainly would welcome any conventions or meetings that were going to be held in Arizona to come to Los Angeles. We have fantastic facilities and incomparable weather and we’d welcome them to the City of Angels.