The hottest fight in American politics? Arizona’s smackdown over solar power

The battle — which has already cost nearly $54.7 million, or about $11.50 for every eligible voter — is over solar power. A ballot initiative would amend the Arizona constitution to require electric utilities to use renewable energy for 50 percent of their power generation by 2035.

With its abundance of sunshine, that should be an easy reach for Arizona. Yet the state gets only 6 percent of its energy from the sun.

The fiercest foe of the measure? Arizona’s biggest utility. Arizona Public Service, or APS, has poured $30.3 million into a political action committee called Arizonans for Affordable Electricity. In an aggressive ad campaign, the group asserts the measure would cost households an additional $1,000 a year.


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