Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, November 16, 2012

Trash Burner saga -- litigation update

In September, I reported on one of Arizona's prime examples of Crony Capitalism, the Trash Burner project authorized by a 3-2 party line vote on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

In July 2012, the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club petitioned the ACC to rehear the case. After the ACC declined to reopen the decision, Sierra Club sued the ACC in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Last week, the ACC filed a response to the Sierra Club suit this month along with a joint motion for briefing schedule.

Both of these documents are merely a technicality. The deadlines for the ACC to file its substantive response and attempts to rebut the claims in the Sierra Club complaint (which is essentially the same as the petition for rehearing) are as follows:

  • January 18, 2013 -- Sierra Club motion for summary judgment; its supporting memorandum is not to exceed 35 pages.
  • March 5, 2013 -- ACC combined response and cross-motion, also not to exceed 35 pages.
  • April 18, 2013 -- Sierra Club combined reply and response; supporting memorandum not to exceed 20 pages.  
  • May 9, 2013 -- ACC reply; supporting memorandum not to exceed 15 pages.
Both sides stipulated to this briefing schedule and requested oral argument in Superior Court.

At this stage of post-election reflection, I'd love to have seen the Solar Team of Democratic candidates for the three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission be more aggressive in campaigning on the trash burner issue.

One source told me back in late September or early October that polling had shown Arizona voters not being aware of the issue. It's difficult for me to believe that if they had known about it, they would have been indifferent. 

Since we cannot change the election results, what do we do now?

First, we hope that the Sierra Club prevails in Superior Court. Second, we pay as much attention as possible to the now (well, in January, anyway) entirely GOP populated Corporation Commission. Third, we hold those ACC members accountable. That's an ongoing process. It does not lay dormant between elections.

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