The Arizona Corporation Commission is the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Arizona, established by Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution. There are currently five members of the commission (recently expanded from three). Arizona is one of only a handful of states with elected commissioners. The Arizona constitution itself explicitly calls for an elected commission (as opposed to a governor-appointed commission, which is the standard in most states), because its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials. They are directly elected statewide, and serve staggered four-year terms.
The commission's scope of responsibility is generally larger than most commissions in other states. Some of its major duties are to regulate public utility companies, regulate/facilitate the incorporation of businesses and organizations, securities regulation, and railroad/pipeline safety.
The Hearing Division, under the supervision of the Chief Hearing Officer, conducts evidentiary hearings and issues recommended orders for the Commissioners' consideration and approval. Chief Hearing Officers, since creation of the position, have been:
1974-1975 Lawrence J. Evans, Jr.
1975-1979 Andrew Wilson Bettwy
1984(?)-1987 Thomas Mumaw
1987-1992 Beth Ann Burns
1992-2000 Jerry Rudibaugh
2000-? Jane Rodda (Acting)
2009(?) - ? Lyn Farmer
As part of its role in regulating public utilities, the Commission established a Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) in 2006. To provide public information related to implementation of the REST, the Commission together with the regulated electric utilities in Arizona have developed a website called Arizona Goes Solar. The authority for the Commission to establish a renewable energy standard has been challenged several times in court by The Goldwater Institute (see Miller v. Arizona Corporation Commission). The standard was most recently upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals in April 2011.
Current corporation commissioners as of 2010 are Paul Newman (D), Gary Pierce (R), Brenda Burns (R), Bob Stump (R), and Sandra Kennedy (D).
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1952) is a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission and a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives ... Pierce was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2006 ... of Government's awarded the Honorable Gary Pierce (R-Mesa, Arizona) the coveted Peak Award (Summit Award) in 2004 ...
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