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The potential outcomes if Prop 127 passes or fails

What could happen if Prop 127 passes or fails
Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 07:47:14-05

We've seen the ads for weeks, threatening what could happen if Prop 127 passes. On the other side, ads are touting how much renewable energy could benefit Arizona.

The basics of Prop 127 - it would require utility companies in Arizona to get 50 percent of the power they sell to you from a renewable source, like solar or wind. The deadline is the year 2030.

One of the controversial points of 127, it would amend the state constitution and lock in the 50 percent mark with no wiggle room. There's also the question, how much of the cost will utility companies pass along to the consumer as they invest more in renewable energy. Experts ABC15 has interviewed about Prop 127 haven't been able to say how much Prop 127 could save or cost consumers if it passed.

Paul Bentz is with HighGround Public Affairs in Phoenix. His company just polled voters on Prop 127.

"There's been a lot of discussion about it, but that also creates a lot of confusion," said Bentz. "When voters are confused, they vote no."

Bentz says their recent polling number show 127 is in trouble. Of the 400 respondents, nearly 62 percent say they will not vote for Prop 127. A solid 54 percent say absolutely not. About 32 percent say they will vote yes.

"I thought it was failing," said Bentz. "I didn't think it would be failing 2 to 1. I didn't expect to be such a disastrous performance because there has been so much money spent."

The money is impressive. Almost $55 million and the majority of it coming from just two donors. The parent company APS has spent just under $30 million trying to stop Prop 127. On the other side, more than $20 million coming from Nextgen America, which is tied to California billionaire Tom Steyer, who is pushing for Arizona to amend its constitution. 

"Steyer spent $20 million in the election so far, and there are about 2 million voters that are going to show up," said Bentz. "That's $10 a voter he has spent so far to get this thing passed, and it's still failing almost 2 to 1."

Arizona already has a renewable energy standard that's not in the state constitution, but it does require utilities to get 15 percent of their power from a renewable source by the year 2025. Industry experts say that standard has already been met.