September 25, 2018

Pima Council on Aging Opposes Proposition 127

Pima Council on Aging opposes Proposition 127 because it will have a direct negative impact on low to moderate-income older adults in Pima County. Proposition 127 proposes to amend the Arizona State Constitution to require effected utilities to provide at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The initiative defines renewable energy as solar, wind, hydropower, and others. It excludes nuclear, natural gas, and fossil fuels.

The Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO), an independent agency that evaluates the impact of changes to policies which may affect utility providers, estimates that through the implementation of Proposition 127 Tucson Electric Power customers will see a $449 annual increase in their utility bills. PCOA is committed to serving all adults 60 and over, however, much of our work is focused on reducing the poverty rates of older adults in our community. Close to 10% of Pima County’s older population live at or below the federal poverty level ($12,140 for an individual annually). Those living at this income level will see 3.7% more of their annual income go to an increase in utility bills, an unsustainable financial burden

PCOA remains committed to a safe and healthy environment now and for generations to come. It is of the utmost importance to encourage clean energy production, using all available resources to make energy carbon neutral. To be sustainable, any policy must be socially just, economically friendly, and environmentally friendly. This policy change focuses on environmental friendliness to the detriment of economic impact or social justice.