Whoa Nelly! Los Angeles may want to cancel its boycott of Arizona before the lights go out. Arizona power plants supply 25% of LA’s power. Arizona Corporation Commission Commissioner Gary Pierce sent a letter to the Mayor of LA asking that LA put its money where its mouth is by renegotiating its contract with Arizona to turn off all power to LA from Arizona. Here’s the text of the May 18, 2010, letter:
Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,
I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).
You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)
I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.
If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.
People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.
Commissioner Gary Pierce
See “Villaraigosa sends non-sequitur reply to AZ Corporation Commissioner on boycott challenge,” which says that Mayor Villagraigosa said he will not respond to threats. Mr. Mayor missed the point of the Commissioner’s letter. Commissioner Pierce challenged tough-talking, but no action LA to put up or shut up by terminating its contract to buy electricity from Arizona. In other words, if LA is serious about boycotting Arizona, why wouldn’t it cancel the single biggest Arizona money maker?