O'Halleran Applauds Arizona Corporation Commission for Emergency Vote on Power Shutoffs

June 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) applauded yesterday’s action by the Arizona Corporation Commission in voting to pass an emergency rule that would prohibit utility shutoffs until October 15th for Arizonans who are late on their bills this year. This vote follows a recent report that a 72-year-old Sun City West woman passed away in a heat-related death last year after Arizona Public Service cut power to her home when the woman paid only $125 of her $176 bill.

“With the average summer high hovering around 105 degrees in many areas of Arizona, air conditioning is a necessity, not a privilege” said Rep. O’Halleran. “The Arizona Corporation Commission made the right decision this week when they decided to put a moratorium on cutting off power to hardworking families trying to make ends meet during the hot summer months.”

On Tuesday, O’Halleran voted to pass H.R.2740, an appropriations minibus that included Fiscal Year 2020 funding for many key Departments, as well as increased funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), an initiative managed by the Department of Health and Human Services that provides financial aid to low income families struggling with energy costs. Tuesday’s minibus includes a $150 million increase for the program.

“I have fought for low-income energy assistance funding since coming to Congress, and I was pleased to see an increase in LIHEAP funding in the appropriations minibus we passed earlier this week,” continued O’Halleran. “We must work to identify ways we can provide energy assistance aid for low-income constituents and continue to allocate full funding for these programs.”

The Arizona Corporation Commission vote was supported by Arizona Public Service, Tucson Electric Power, and sister company UniSource, all three of whom implemented temporary suspensions of power shutoffs before the vote passed Thursday.

A full list of appropriated funds from Tuesday’s appropriations minibus can be found here.