Before the Arizona Corporation Commission
Jim O'Connor – CHAIR
Lea Márquez Peterson
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY FOR A HEARING TO DETERMINE THE FAIR VALUE OF THE UTILITY PROPERTY OF THE COMPANY FOR RATEMAKING PURPOSES, TO FIX A JUST AND REASONABLE RATE OF RETURN THEREON, AND TO APPROVE RATE SCHEDULES DESIGNED TO DEVELOP SUCH RETURN
DOCKET NO. E-01345A-22-0144
SIERRA CLUB, ARIZONA SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (ARISEIA), AND SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (SEIA) JOINDER IN OPPOSITION TO ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE AND OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER
Sierra Club, AriSEIA, and SEIA join in Arizona Public Service’s (APS) opposition to the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC), which was filed on June 23, 2023. We also oppose AFEC’s Motion to Reconsider filed July 7, 2023. The Notice of Intent to File a Rate Case was filed on June 1, 2022. APS’ application was filed on October 28, 2022. A Procedural Order setting the intervention deadline as February 16, 2023, was filed on December 2, 2022. On December 8, 2022, the intervention deadline was moved to March 3, 2023. Direct testimony on the revenue requirement was due on June 5, 2023 and direct testimony on rate design was due on June 15, 2023. By that time, approximately 34 entities had been granted intervention in this matter, public comment sessions have been held, and significant media attention has been applied to this proceeding. Additionally, the hearing is already scheduled to run for 5 weeks.
AFEC filed for intervention 16 weeks after the intervention deadline, 3 weeks after the revenue requirement testimony filing deadline, and more than a week after the rate design testimony filing deadline. To grant intervention now would prejudice other parties because we will not have adequate time to review and respond to the interests AFEC purports to have in this proceeding without delaying the hearing. Further, discovery is well underway. Allowing intervention at this point creates the potential for voluminous and burdensome discovery requests to any other party in the proceeding only 5 weeks before the discovery deadline. Finally, and most concerning, there is a substantial risk that AFEC’s interests could increase the duration of the hearing, thereby increasing costs to ratepayers, the Commission, and all of the other parties. This is especially concerning to nonprofit organizations with finite resources as additional hearing days can dramatically increase the cost to intervene.
AFEC says they “do not intend to provide testimony or cross examine witnesses, our intention with intervention is for the ability to present evidence to support our perspective and ensure the interests of ratepayers are adequately represented.” This fundamentally misunderstands the nature of rate cases. A party cannot introduce “evidence” absent a witness, because due process requires the person sponsoring an exhibit to be cross-examined. If AFEC solely wants to present public comment, they do not need to be an intervenor in the case. Further, there are multiple parties already in the case who represent the interests of ratepayers, such as RUCO and Wildfire. AFEC has not provided any information as to how they are better suited to represent ratepayers than the organizations whose primary function is to do so or how they can possibly “present evidence” without delaying or prolonging the proceeding.
AFEC had the same opportunity as all of the other parties to timely intervene in this proceeding. For these reasons, we ask that AFEC’s Motion to Reconsider be denied.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 7th day of July 2023.
By /s/ Patrick Woolsey
Louisa Eberle - AZ Bar No. 035973
Patrick Woolsey (Pro Hac Vice)
Nihal Shrinath (Pro Hac Vice)
Attorneys for Sierra Club
By /s/ Autumn Johnson
Autumn Johnson (035811)
Attorney for AriSEIA and SEIA
 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Motion to Reconsider, Docket No. E-01345A-22-0144, Filed July 7, 2023, P.3, L. 15-18.
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