Yesterday, Arizona voters turned down a proposition that would have increased energy costs with little environmental impact.

Proposition 127—Arizona’s so-called “clean energy” initiative, strongly supported by California billionaire Tom Steyer—would have required utilities and electric cooperatives to generate at least 50 percent of their annual sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, up from the current 15 percent requirement. 

“Voters’ rejection of Proposition 127 is a sign that the people of Arizona don’t want their state to become like California or New York—states with extremely stringent energy mandates and, as a result, very high residential energy costs,” said Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches. “Arizona already derives about half of its power from green sources like natural gas and nuclear energy, so Proposition 127 would have only raised energy costs for families and businesses without delivering cleaner air.” 

In October, the Goldwater Institute released a study from economist Stephen Moore about the damage Proposition 127 could do to families and businesses throughout Arizona. Using information from states that have enacted policies similar to those in Arizona’s proposed clean energy initiative, Moore’s study found that Proposition 127 would result in higher energy costs that would disproportionately hard on low-income families, with no obvious improvement in air quality or greenhouse gas emissions.

“Rather than seeking to enact policies that make it more difficult for people to live and work here, Arizonans should embrace approaches to our energy future that don’t involve gambling everything on solar and wind power,” Riches said. “Yesterday, voters instead sent the message that they want to harness clean energy in a cost-effective way that benefits all people in the state.”