There’s just a week left until the board of directors of the Salt River Project (SRP) votes on a plan that would impose an across-the-board rate increase and an additional tax for customers with rooftop solar. I couldn’t be prouder of the effort our community has made heading into that vote to make sure that our call for Sol, Not Coal be heard loud and clear.
When SRP first held a public comment hearing at the beginning of January, 25 Latino families attended to say no to the rate hike targeting solar power. When they held their final public comment hearing last week on February 9th, more than 500 people rallied and marched. More than 100 were Latinos calling on SRP to support “Sol Not Coal” It was amazing!
Our community knows the real cost of this plan. It means every customer will pay more, and those with rooftop solar panels will pay as much as an additional $600 per year. It’s a huge hit to our savings, but it’s also a huge hit to our health. SRP can’t turn its back on the responsibility they have to put Arizona on a path to reducing pollution and the effects of climate change. We have to keep holding them accountable because as one of the communities most affected by the health effects from pollution -- and one of the communities that can most benefit from jobs in the solar industry -- we know the current SRP plan is wrong.
SRP has begun to listen to your voices, our voices. At the last hearing they finally provided interpreting services, something we called on them to do. Now it's time to stand up again and in even greater numbers! Next Thursday the 26th we are gearing up for another march and rally as SRP prepares to vote to decide these key plans.
It’s important to note that 30% of solar jobs in Arizona are held by the Latino community, so we have a say, not just as ratepayers, but as the workers who can make Arizona stronger and healthier with clean energy. Let’s remind them we care! Below are the details. See you there!
What: Rally at SRP for Sol, Not Coal
When: Thursday, February 26th, Community gather for rally at 8:00am; SRP Board Meeting begins at 9:30am
Where: SRP PERA Club 1 E. Continental Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281
Who: Chispa organizers, solar power advocates, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens – YOU!
Pedro Lopez is the director of Chispa, a program of the League of Conservation Voters that is dedicated to elevating the voices of the Latino community on energy and climate change, online at facebook.com/ChispaAZ.