The ongoing Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has put the spotlight on our critical need to take seriously the stewardship of our environment seriously.
Rodney holds a Ph.D. in Arid Land Resource Sciences from the University of Arizona, with a focus on water and solar energy. Water is like gold in Arizona's desert environment, and solar energy is key to Arizona's economic and technological development.
Arizona gets about 350 days of sun each year, giving us an incredible capacity to generate solar energy and to create an unprecedented number of clean-energy jobs. In Arizona, we should be positioning ourselves to stand at the forefront of developing solar technologies.
As Vice Mayor of Tucson, Rodney led the fight to require all new residential construction (single-family homes and duplexes) to be pre-plumbed for solar hot water heaters. He was also the driving force behind the nation's first city ordinance to require all new commercial construction to use rainwater harvesting to meet at least 50 percent of landscaping needs. Such water-saving techniques are vital to a thriving desert economy, and they are serving as a model for cities across the nation. Rodney fought to make it easier and more affordable for Tucson families to take advantage of new, green technologies.
Rodney supports a strong regulatory framework for carbon-based emissions in which the revenues generated from regulation are used to directly fund clean energy jobs and to develop new sustainable energy-creating processes.
Finally, we must end the cozy relationships between regulators and industry. Contingency plans have been rubber stamped but not read; inspectors have sought jobs from the companies they are supposed to oversee. This type of negligence contributed greatly to the current Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Public safety rules must be followed and not ignored. Oil companies, like the banks, should not be left to regulate themselves.