The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott the state of Arizona over its new immigration-enforcement law, and now the Arizona Corporation Commission has responded. Gary Pierce, one of the commissioners chosen in state-wide elections to the utility regulation panel, notes that Los Angeles gets about 25% of its power from Arizona producers. If the City of Angels really wants a boycott, Pierce offers his services to help, as he explains in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and copied here:
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
A scan of the letter can be downloaded here. I wonder what Commissioner Pierce has to say about Councilman Ed Reyes’ lack of understanding of California’s own penal code? Maybe the AZCC could buy a copy for Reyes, although it might be difficult to read during the blackout in Los Angeles.