Steller column: Brazen APS grew intoxicated with politics, documents show

Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller writes that new documents reveal that the Arizona Public Service Co. was immersed in politics and detached from any ethical concerns about using money ultimately derived from captive ratepayers in its effort to fight off the solar industry in 2016:

For years, the common wisdom around Arizona politics was that Arizona Public Service Co., or its parent Pinnacle West, had spent $3.2 million trying to get their preferred regulators elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2014. That alone would have been a first.

But now we know the company’s unprecedented 2014 spending, which succeeded at electing the company’s favored candidates, reached $10.7 million.

This became clear in the disclosures that a new majority of the commission forced Pinnacle West and APS to make on the utility’s political spending since 2012. The company described the disclosure as voluntary, but the three commissioners would have forced it to reveal this information if the utility hadn’t released it first, and it had fought making these disclosures before.

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