A special election is taking place right now in Tucson, and even if you’re not from the city, you should pay attention. At first glance, Prop 412 appears to be nothing more than a new agreement between the City of Tucson and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to renew the Franchise Agreement for another 25 years using the current 2.25% fee. But just like anything government bureaucrats put out there nowadays, you need to keep reading.
Along with the renewed agreement, Prop 412 would add a 0.75% “Community Resilience Fee” to fund the costs associated with building underground transmission facilities—and projects that support the City’s implementation of its Climate Action Plan. Ahhh, there it is. The agenda behind Prop 412 finally comes out. This isn’t about renewing a franchise agreement. It’s about forcing hardworking taxpayers to start funding the estimated $326 million it’s going to need to address Mayor Regina Romero’s so-called “climate emergency.”
According to TEP, it plans to use this “Resiliency” Slush Fund to:
- decarbonize city-owned and operated buildings and facilities.
- promote distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar to provide local renewable energy and enhance energy resilience.
- pursue additional local sources of renewable energy, including resource recovery and heat exchange.
- promote electric vehicles via charging infrastructure expansion.
- transition public agency fleets to zero-emission and net-zero-emission vehicles.
- establish accessible resilience hubs across all City Wards to provide information and resources related to climate preparedness and response.
- bolster City-owned and community-wide heat mitigation resources to reduce urban heat island effect and protect vulnerable individuals and communities.
- deploy and maintain equitable nature-based solutions that reduce or sequester emissions, improve ecosystem health, and bolster climate resilience.
- bolster community and regional networks to improve community-wide emergency response and resource-sharing.
That’s right. It’s just another long list of Green New Deal pet projects all at the expense of taxpayers who are already overburdened by Bidenflation and exorbitant gas prices.
But there has to be some kind of benefit, right? Nope.
If Prop 412 passes, Tucson residents can expect to be on road diets through lengthy construction projects that remove driving lanes from roads. This will cause small businesses—many of which are still recovering from ill-advised COVID shutdowns—to suffer as lane reductions create a permanent inconvenience for customers. On top of that, it will reduce personal vehicles by 40% by 2050, and ultimately lead to what Mayor Romero really wants: establishing Tucson as a 15-minute city with local travel restrictions that remove personal choice.
Even if you don’t live in Tucson, that last one should concern you. Liberals around the world are pushing the 15-minute city concept more and more. In Barcelona, the city is limiting personal car vehicles only to residents or delivery services. And speed limits are a maximum of 6 miles per hour. In Oxford in the UK, the government has adopted an $86 fee for driving past the 15-minute filter in a personal vehicle.
But perhaps the biggest question of all is why does TEP even need more taxpayer dollars to begin with? Its reported profits from the last three years are:
- 2020 – $191 million
- 2021 – $201 million
- 2022 – $217 million
In addition to these profits and the 0.75% Community Resilience Fee, TEP has already requested that the Arizona Corporation Commission approve a 12% rate increase before the end of the year. That would bring the total average impact between Prop 412 and the proposed rate increases to be about $180 per year for customers. This is outrageous! TEP and the City of Tucson don’t care about residents. They are just looking for another money grab to push a Green New Deal agenda that restricts freedom with no real positive impact on the environment. Now, it’s up to the citizens of Tucson to push back and vote NO on Prop 412.
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