Proposition 127, Renewable Energy Standards Initiative
Proposition 127 would define renewable energy to include solar, wind, biomass, certain hydropower, geothermal, and landfill gas energies and then require utility companies to gather electricity from these sources, increasing the percentage annually from 12 percent in 2020 to 50 percent by 2030.
Renewable energy standards have been a topic of debate not only in Arizona but all across the country. As of 2018, 29 states had renewable portfolio standards (RPS). An RPS is a mandate to electric utilities to generate a minimum amount of electricity from eligible renewable energy sources. Arizona currently has a 15% mandate by 2025, while Hawaii has the highest future requirement, at 100 percent by 2045.
On July 19, 2018, eight individuals filed litigation against Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R) and local election boards in the Maricopa County Superior Court, stating that the campaign behind the initiative—Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona—violated the state's strict compliance standard for signature gathering. Plaintiffs included Rep. Vince Leach (R-11), Rep. John Kavanagh (R-23), and Mesa Mayor John Giles. The filing said the campaign made the following violations:
- failed to disclose the actual financial backer and administrative director of the initiative on petitions;
- terminated signature gatherers for not meeting signature quotas;
- submitted petition sheets that included deficiencies, including 195,339 signatures of people not registered to vote;
- gave the ballot initiative a misleading title; and
- gave the ballot initiative a misleading summary.
On July 31, 2018, Judge Daniel Kiley issued a decision stating that the initiative could not be removed from the ballot due to a failure to disclose financial backers on petitions, but left it open for consideration on the other complaints. On August 27th, the court determined that the other complaints were not valid and the initiative would remain on the 2018 ballot.
A "yes" vote supports this initiative to require electric utilities that sell electricity in Arizona to acquire electricity from a certain percentage of renewable resources each year, with the percentage increasing annually from 12 percent in 2020 to 50 percent in 2030.
A "no" vote opposes this initiative to require electric utilities that sell electricity in Arizona to acquire electricity from a certain percentage of renewable resources, thereby leaving the state's existing renewable energy requirements of 15 percent by 2045 in place.