Despite threat, Az official powerless to shut off LA's juice
If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law, they'd better get ready to do so in the dark, one official says. But that may be an empty threat.
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce wrote a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reminding him that the city gets 25 percent of its electricity from Arizona power plants.
"I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.
"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands."
Los Angeles officials don't sound worried.
"We're not going to respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic human rights," Villaraigosa spokesman David Beltran told Fox News.
But Piece may not even have the juice to turn off the power. Some Southern California utilities have ownerships stakes in plants in Arizona, reports the Arizona Republic:
The California utilities paid part of the cost of building Palo Verde, and pay their share of the fuel and operations, so Arizona can't take away the power they get from the plant. And the Corporation Commission has no jurisdiction over merchant power plants that sell power from Arizona to California.
The new law, SB 1070, requires law enforcement to ask anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to furnish proof of citizenship or legal residency. Critics have blasted the law as encouraging racial profiling, a claim that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer denies. Supporters say it will cut down on border crime.