Legislators Question Hobbs’ Decision To Join Climate Alliance

August 14, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

Republican members of the Arizona Legislature are fighting back against Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ emerging environmental agenda.

On Friday, four state senators wrote a letter to Governor Hobbs, highlighting a recent announcement by her Office that the State, under her direction, had joined the United States Climate Alliance.

Senators Frank Carroll, Sine Kerr, David Gowan, and T.J. Shope were signatories to the letter.

On July 11, Hobbs revealed that the State was joining the Alliance. She asserted that “Together, we are creating green jobs and businesses, ensuring clean air and water for Arizonans, lowering energy costs, and preparing more effectively for a changing climate.”

In response, the Alliance welcomed Hobbs as a member – not the State – in a Twitter post.

The legislators, in their letter, stated that the Alliance is “an organization set up by three Democratic governors as a protest to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the job-destroying Paris Agreement; and that the Alliance is a completely voluntary coalition of governors with aspirational and non-binding goals to combat global warming.”

They warned Hobbs that Arizona laws did not authorize her to join the State with this alliance, writing, “To be clear, the Alliance is a coalition of governors, not States. The Legislature is the branch of government constitutionally charged with setting public policy for the State of Arizona and nothing in the laws of the State authorize you to join this coalition – as ineffectual as it is – on behalf of the State.”

There was a strong encouragement by the lawmakers for the Governor’s Office to work with the Legislature on these matters – a refrain that has oft been used in 2023 under a divided Arizona government. The lawmakers said, “We suggest that, instead of unilaterally creating task forces and joining do-nothing coalitions, you work with and through the Legislature to formulate public policy. Attempting to evade this process through edict misleads the public on the proper role of the executive and diverts attention from the real work that needs to be done.”

The coalition of legislators concluded their letter with a promise to use their authority under the Arizona Constitution to preserve the separation of powers inside of the state, adding, “Most importantly, executive overreach threatens the separation of powers provisions in Article II of the Arizona Constitution. Because separation of powers is ‘essential to the preservation of liberty,’ James Madison, Federalist No. 51, Senate Republicans are committed to serving as a check on any abuse of executive power.”

According to the Alliance, its members “are working to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius through four key collective commitments.” Those commitments are as follows:

  • Reducing collective net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at least 26-28% by 2025 and 50-52% by 2030, both below 2005 levels, and collectively achieving overall net-zero GHG emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
  • Accelerating new and existing policies to reduce climate pollution, build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal levels.
  • Centering equity, environmental justice, and a just economic transition in their efforts to achieve their climate goals and create high-quality jobs.
  • Tracking and reporting progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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