Arizona Threatens to Turn Off L.A.'s Lights in Response to Boycott


Arizona has fired back at Los Angeles after its City Council voted to boycott the Grand Canyon State because of its controversial new immigration law. And it could leave Angelenos in the dark -- literally.

The state says if L.A. insists on a partial boycott of Arizona, then the state will pull the plug on the electricity generated in Arizona that is shipped off to L.A. That could be a huge problem -- 25% of Los Angeles' electricity originates in power plants in Arizona.

Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission, wrote a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in response to the Council's vote. In it, he ridiculed Villaraigosa for saying that the point of the boycott was to "send a message" by severing the "resources and ties" they share. He went on:

"I received your message; please receive mine. As a statewide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona's electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the 'resources and ties' we share with the city of Los Angeles. 

"If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, 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."

He said Arizona's companies are ready to fight the boycott with one of its own:

"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy."

Pierce summed it up when he told, "Doggone it -- if you're going to boycott this candy store, then don't come in for any of it."

Last week the Council voted to ban all official travel to Arizona, as well as all future business with the state. However, counci lmembers stopped short of canceling all existing contracts with Arizona businesses.


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