Editor: I am the CEO of Graham Electric Cooperative, the nonprofit electric cooperative that provides electricity to the families, schools, churches and small businesses of Graham County. I am voting no on Proposition 127 — the initiative that will mandate that utilities provide 50 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030 — I hope you will consider my reasons for doing so.

In voting no on Proposition 127, my reasons are founded in keeping our county affordable for families of all incomes and in making sure our businesses remain successful for years to come. The increased electric rates, the potential for job losses and the impact that the measure will have on our public schools is enough to make me sprint to the ballot box to cast a no vote.

At Graham Electric Cooperative, we work for you, the member-owner. Voting no on Proposition 127 is about doing what’s best for our co-op and Graham County. Together, Arizona’s rural electric cooperatives estimate that Proposition 127, if approved by voters, would increase electric rates by 40 percent. Let us do our job for you. Your board of directors is elected by you and has your best interest in mind. We have integrated renewable energy resources when it made economic sense to do so.

More than that, a study from Arizona state has recently shown that Proposition 127 could reduce the amount of property taxes that directly benefit schools by $20 million a year. If you couple that with increased electric rates, you’ll see that schools will be among the hardest hit if Proposition 127 were to pass. The same study also shows that Arizona could lose out on the equivalent of 13,000 jobs every year for the next four decades.

To me, it is clear that the best path forward for our community is to vote no on Proposition 127.

Kirk Gray

Safford

Republished from Eastern Arizona Courier