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January 24, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Energy Efficiency

  |   Video
  • Horizon continues its look at sustainability with a house that can save up to 90-percent of its energy costs. The traveling German structure is called "Das Haus," and it is currently on display at Tempe Town Lake, near the Tempe Center for the Arts.
  • Wellington "Duke" Reiter - Vice President, Knowledge Enterprise Architecture at Arizona State University
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: energy, sustainability, german,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Tonight on our continuing coverage of sustainability issues we look at a house that can save up to 90% of energy costs. The structure is called Das Haus and it's a traveling home featuring German sustainability and construction. Das Haus is on display near the Tempe Center for the Arts. Here is Wellington "Duke" Reiter, Arizona State University foundation. Thanks for joining us.
Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Glad to be here Ted.
Ted Simons: This is not exactly a house. What are we looking at?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Right. What you see today is a little bit the result of a victory tour to some degree. The Germans have been way ahead in solar and a lot of technologies related to sustainability. They were the winners in 2007 and 2009 of an international competition called the Solar Decathlon in Washington D.C., where houses are built by 20 university teams. They were one. They won two times in a row. They were measured and the reason it's called the decathlon, on ten different issues including energy efficiency and other terms. It's a pavilion that's a reminder of the two houses.

Ted Simons: And why were these houses winners? Is it insulation, is it being airtight? Is it the outward design?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Believe it or not the ten criteria cover a broad spectrum, market appeal, architectural design, engineering, energy efficiency, the ability to power an electric car, how the appliances work, how the water is filtered. Ten criteria and it's a very severe measurement.

Ted Simons: As far as affordability, what are we looking at in terms of cost? If we're looking at something affordable why aren't we seeing these being Biltmore often?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: They range from 200 to 400 K, plus or minus, in that range. We had a symposium yesterday to discuss this. Why do you not see more of this? Part of it is market appeal. A lot of us purchase Priuses because we can see readouts and appreciate the savings, but the look isn't for everyone. Now people are coming around to the idea that that's what energy efficiency looks like. Same could happen in houses.

Ted Simons: Is there any idea of building these on SPEC?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Absolutely. Here in Phoenix people are doing exactly that.

Ted Simons: Das Haus, you get guided tours, information. What else is happening in terms of technology and design with renewable energies and these homes, it seems like these are cutting edge homes.

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: They are. By the way, if we're successful, the entire solar decathlon will be surrounding the lake. This is just a precursor to what could be a spectacular demonstration of what these homes could be. The biggest innovation in a way is monitoring. It's letting you know what your house is doing and adjusting your behaviors accordingly there are now sensors in-houses that let you know how you're actually doing in terms of use of energy F. you would behave different you can do a whole lot better, even in your current home.

Ted Simons: You walk by a certain wall and the wall says you're using this much in terms of electricity in the laundry room, in the kitchen?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: You are very close to the way these houses can behave. They can monitor themselves. They know when the appliances are running ineffectively. They can let you know how they could be running in an optimal way.

Ted Simons: What challenges are there architect really speaking in having this kind of efficiency in a house that looks good, that people want to live in, that's cozy, homey?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: We had speakers yesterday on behalf of the home building industry, APS, and others. You can have all these technologies in-houses that for all appearances are like any other house you would want to own. For those that want a house that looks like a house there's that possibility and there's others that could look different.

Ted Simons: As far as existing infrastructure, do these things fit? Will they be able to adapt to what's there already?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Absolutely. The future in many of these houses is in the technology. Of course it has to fit in conventional spaces.

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Last question. You talk about this decathlon, this big project. There's a chance we could see something like that?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: There's a chance in 2013 and we're one of very few finalists that the Department of Energy is considering that would bring the entirety of the solar decathlon off the mall in Washington D.C. It would be surrounding Tempe Town Lake in 2013. It would be a great boost economically and complete the solar narrative in Arizona, saying this is the place to be.

Ted Simons: For those who opt down to look at this Das Haus thing, for those who want to check them out, what should you look for? What do you want people to take away?

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: You should look at the materials, you should assume many are sustainable. They have been refurbished, they are recycled. Don't just look at the gizmos, the gadgets. Look at the materials. They have all come from sustainable conditions.

Ted Simons: Interesting stuff. Good to have you. Thanks for joining us.

Wellington "Duke" Reiter: Thanks, it's a pleasure.

Focus on Sustainability: Tribal Sustainable Energy Accomplishments

  |   Video
  • A look at the challenges and successes Arizona’s tribal governments are experiencing as they develop sustainable energy resources. Guests include Ann Marie Chischilly, Executive Director of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University, and the Hopi Tribe’s Renewable Energy Director Ken Lomayestewa.
  • Ann Marie Chischilly - Executive Director, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), Northern Arizona University
  • Ken Lomayestewa - Director, Hopi Tribe Renewable Energy
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: horizon, sustainability, energy, tribal,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: The institute for tribal environmental professionals at NAU is helping tribal governments protect their natural resource through education and training. Now I-TEP is helping tribes grow jobs and achieve energy independence by turning their natural resources into clean, renewable energy. Here to talk about the work is I-TEP executive director Ann Marie Chischilly, a long time water, environmental and energy attorney and member of the Navajo nation. Also with us is Ken Lomayestewa, renewable energy director for the Hopi tribe. Good to see you both here. Thanks for joining us.
Ann Marie Chischilly: Thank you for having us.
Ken Lomayestewa: Thank you.
Ted Simons: The institute for tribal environmental professionals. Tell us more.

Ann Marie Chischilly: Great. I-TEP is a 19-year-old organization located on the NAU campus. What we have been doing over the past 19 years is we train, educate and offer technical assistance to tribal environmental professionals throughout the nation. We have been able to serve 500 of the 565 tribes. So --

Ted Simons: That means working with Feds, working with state, working with the tribes. It means a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Ann Marie Chischilly: It does, it does. The team is dedicated to helping build tribal capacity in the environmental mediums including air quality, solid waste, climate change, and we have a very robust environmental education outreach program as well that reaches K-through-20.

Ted Simons: I want to talk about the resource center in a second.
Ann Marie Chischilly: Sure.
Ted Simons: As far as this relationship with you, your tribe, your energy concerns. Talk to us about the dynamic. What's going on?

Ken Lomayestewa: The Hopi tribe is pursuing some energy development. We have been doing wind resource assessments. We are in our second year of wind resource assessments. We're also looking into doing utility scale solar. Those are some of the projects we're currently pursuing.

Ted Simons: Now are these hard, fast plans, are they still in development? How far along are you?

Ken Lomayestewa: We're at the beginning phases of this. We have done feasibility studies for the wind. We're looking at trying to locate developers or partners to do the solar project. So we're right now at the very beginning phases of solar.

Ted Simons: I would imagine trying to develop partners and funding in such has to be difficult in this day and age.

Ken Lomayestewa: Oh, yeah. We have a lot of people coming around, but we're doing our own thing to find the right people out there. We wanted to make and do a very, very good relation -- relationship with a developer to make our projects work.

Ted Simons: Is there a way for you now to help this particular tribe, this particular project? How does that work?

Ann Marie Chischilly: Great. Thank you. I-TEP has a new program coming on called the Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center or T-CERC. And T-CERC will help Ken and the Hopi nation with offering technical assistance, business planning, policy planning, and offering internships. All these factors that tribes directly ask I-TEP for. I-TEP has always carried the model of listening to tribes and building our curriculum around them. This is one more way I-TEP has been able to do that.

Ted Simons: When you're listening, what are you hearing? What are the challenges? What are the recurring themes, if you will?

Ann Marie Chischilly: Recurring I would say there's the interagency. There are a lot of agencies that work with tribes on development and not a lot of communication between the interagency. Of course funding, the financing background is another part of that.

Ted Simons: The concerns you would have regarding projects you were talking about earlier. What are the major challenges?

Ken Lomayestewa: The major challenges we're trying to overcome are trying to get a power purchase agreement with the utilities in the local area. We also have very serious transmission constraints, transmission lines running through the area are not available. We do have some transmission but they are small. We don't know the capacity. They may be full. So that's one thing we need to take a look at.

Ted Simons: That's interesting because a lot of people think, solar - yay, wind - yay, everything's great, but you have to have transmission lines or everything is just a project.

Ken Lomayestewa: That's right.

Ted Simons: Who are you discussing this with?

Ken Lomayestewa: We're going to be contacting APS, our local utility. Also with help from I-TEP and other people that we have partnered with we're trying to get a handle on which are the most important things we can take care of.

Ted Simons: I understand it's things like checker board pattern of land, whether it's private or public, whether it's a tribe. That could be a problem too as far as not only transmission lines but setting up a solar or wind facility.

Ken Lomayestewa: You have to get clearances. Wherever the land holders are.

Ted Simons: That's something you can assist the tribes with, making those kinds of relationships in the first place?

Ann Marie Chischilly: I would like to develop a stronger relationship with the Brewer of Indian affairs, who holds a lot of these land issues and helps, hopefully we can help the tribes move through those issues as well. As far as Indian lands, to find who actual listees are and find out what we can do to help.
Ted Simons: As far as cultural and traditional concerns, I would imagine as with all groups of folks there are some tribes people are all gung ho for this and others saying I'm no so crazy about all this. How does that play into this?

Ann Marie Chischilly: Listening to them. Sitting down with tribes is one of the first things we do. Taking a look at their tribal ecological knowledge is another thing. I have seen where a lot of times tribes will say wind in one section looks very good on radar, but if you actually talk to the elders that may be a sacred site so that's automatically off the board discussion. So you move to the next site. You have to be very careful and very open about what tribes consider sacred and not sacred in their area.

Ted Simons: That tradition, that culture, that concern, are you seeing it with your tribe?

Ken Lomayestewa: Absolutely. We have done a lot of cultural clearances on these sites and we do find sites that have sensitive areas, so we do bring traditional leaders and other leaders to the table and try to inform them of what we're doing, get their point on what their knowledge is about the sites.

Ted Simons: So that communication, that dialogue has to be ongoing I would imagine?

Ken Lomayestewa: It has to be there. If it's not there and they find out after the fact that project is going to get shut down.

Ted Simons: Yeah, I'll bet it will. The idea of I-TEP just actually helping strengthen sovereignty for tribes, is that true? Is that a valid statement?

Ken Lomayestewa: I say yes.

Ted Simons: You say yes?

Ann Marie Chischilly: Yes. Being able to build capacity for your own tribe, being able to permit, regulate your own tribal space, reservation, that's sovereignty. Being able to build your own energy cycles, your own food, water, that’s sovereignty. That's all so I would say I-TEP helps.

Ted Simons: When you put it that way for your tribe in your situation it has to be a plus.

Ken Lomayestewa: It will help somewhere along the line.

Ted Simons: And the impact of renewable resources on economic development for your tribe, big?

Ken Lomayestewa: Big. It's big. We're trying to do a large scale process, and we're having some issues about because its lack of transmission available, the capacity available is not there, so we're being told think on a smaller scale like two to 300 watts, which is not really economical for us. We want to see if we can build in larger scale than that.

Ted Simons: Ok, very quickly here. Optimistic about the program in the future?

Ann Marie Chischilly: Very excited.

Ted Simons: Very good. Good to have you both here. Thank you for joining us.
Ken Lomayestewa: Thank you.

Ann Marie Chischilly: Thank you for your time.

Medical Marijuana

  |   Video
  • The Department of Health Services Director Will Humble provides an update on Arizona’s implementation of its voter-approved medical marijuana program.
  • Will Humble - Director, Department of Health Services
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: medical, marijuana,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: Good evening. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The first convictions are in involving the U.S. Justice Department's botched gun running program "Fast and Furious." Two men admitted to being part of a smuggling ring to provide guns for the Sinaloa drug cartel. The face of the Phoenix Police Department’s Silent Witness Program says he will run against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Paul Penzone is running as a democrat. He is a retired police sergeant and he filed paperwork to former exploratory committee for the sheriff's race. Penzone cited uninvestigated sex crimes in the northwest valley as an example for the department's need for a professional leadership.

Ted Simons: Well, recent court action on medical marijuana appears to have cleared the way for dispensaries to start distributing medical marijuana in near future. This very department of health services is responsible for coming up with rules to implement the law. Joining us is DHS Director Will Humble with some breaking news on all this. And I love saying breaking news because you really do have new information.

Will Humble: Yeah, well, there's been a couple of court cases that have come out in the last few days. We have been looking for the options that we have. We have just decided not to appeal any of those cases, so we're going to press ahead with the dispensary part of the rules. We're looking at taking applications in, say, April.
Ted Simons: Umm Hmm…
Will Humble: And, we'll have a little review period. So we expect to award the first licenses probably mid June.

Ted Simons: So applications April? Licenses mid June?

Will Humble: Right.

Ted Simons: Last we heard the governor saying - applications okay, but I'm not ready for licenses yet.

Will Humble: Well, see the issue was there was this one outstanding case in superior court which was actually resolved last week. The judge gave us a series of opinions basically orders regarding the rules that we had established for selecting successful dispensary applicants. So many of those things were struck down. What we need to do now is really look at that judge's ruling, rework our rules, which we can do pretty quickly, and set those new criteria, which basically eliminates many of the selection criteria that were in the original version of the rules.

Ted Simons: Can you tell us why the decision not to go ahead and challenge?

Will Humble: Well, I think it's just sort of -- I think let me say this. There are a number of outstanding issues around medical marijuana. Clearly it's against federal law. I mean it's sort of the cloud this whole program has over it. I mean, the governor has tried to resolve those questions with the federal government. That case was dismissed. So I think we're at the point where we start looking at the state law. We had an outstanding case in superior court challenging our selection criteria for the dispensaries. The judge struck those things down. It's at the end of the line where there's really no reasonable -- nothing else reasonable to do except proceed.

Ted Simons: Some of these requirements struck down from now on you can't require the three-year residency, you can't require three years of income taxes, you can't require no government debts, parking tickets, child support. You can't say if you had personal or professional or proper, corporate bankruptcy, that wouldn't disallow you. That's a lot of stuff now swept away.

Will Humble: Right. What we tried to do in the original rules were to put some selection criteria in place so we would whittle down the field of candidates in a particular zone, say we had several people that wanted to run a dispensary in the same part of town. Original rules sort of set a course that would whittle that field down to one or two applicants. The way it's going to be now we have to remove those criteria from our rules. We'll still have a couple left, but by and large it will be more random selection at the end rather than this sort of meritocracy, if you will.

Ted Simons: Sounds like a lottery.

Will Humble: Basically yes.
Ted Simons: Basically yes.
Ted Simons: With all these requirements removed are we going to see a trampling of folks excited? Or not quite so simple?

Will Humble: There are some people that are excited about it, but it's not as easy as you might think to get one of these dispensary licenses. We have a lot of criteria that we're going to look for throughout the rest of the process. Set aside the selection criteria, the business plan, inventory control system, et cetera, et cetera. There's a lot of capital and know-how that goes into these to begin with. The second piece is folks need to get their local jurisdiction to sign off on the zoning, and that's not easy either. There's lots of properties around town, but many of the cities have put some zoning restrictions in for these dispensaries and there may not be that many properties to rent or buy.

Ted Simons: There still, we can talk about the chilling effect of folks who own these properties, we don't want any part of it. Nothing on our land that involves this.

Will Humble: That goes back to the issue of federal law. Bottom line, this whole thing is against federal law. There's some risk inherent in leasing or renting a property to a person who plans on a dispensary at that location because it's against federal law. All those cancellation factors put together sort of -- I think that we may not see as many applicants as initially we thought.

Ted Simons: And you still need a certain financial requirement, correct, in terms of was it $150,000?

Will Humble: There was one piece that survived. The selection criteria that we had included. That is the 150,000 in start-up capital. Now, it is not required, you don't have to have $150,000 in start-up capital, but if you have two applicants in the same part of town and you can only award one license, we're going to look at that financial criteria and the person who is able to establish they have that capital will get the award.

Ted Simons: What about now that residency is gone, what about folks coming in from California or New York or something like this and they have $3 million of start-up capital and I only have 150,000. Once you're past the 150 everything is even Steven?

Will Humble: That's right. Everything is even Steven.

Ted Simons: So the lottery then still exists?

Will Humble: oh, it will. Yes.

Ted Simons: So the bottom line, we are going to see medical marijuana dispensaries.

Will Humble: Right. My best guess is that we would be awarding those initial licenses in mid June. We could potentially have if someone was ready to go, had their business plan and everything ready, we could see some dispensaries in, say, mid-July, early August.

Ted Simons: Mid-July, early August. Ok. Last question. I.D. cards are still being issued. I know there are some 18,000 cards or something like that?
Will Humble: 18,000, yeah.
Ted Simons: Where are the concentrations of most of these id’s?

Will Humble: The conventional wisdom at the beginning was that they would all be around the universities. Fact is, if you look at the maps, it's interesting. Say here in the valley we have a lot of qualified patients from Surprise, North Scottsdale, then qualified patients in the East Valley, Mesa, Chandler. Those parts of town. It wasn't lie at least I thought would be this big cluster by the universities. It turned out to be sort of the periphery of town.

Ted Simons: Age groups?

Will Humble: Still the same as it's been since the very beginning. It's pretty encouraging; we have more people over 40 than under 30. So as you age, Ted, like you and I, you're more likely to have a debilitating medical condition. It's a sign of a relatively medical marijuana program as opposed to a recreational one, skewed to that under age 30 group.

Ted Simons: Alright, good stuff. Thanks a lot for joining us.

Will Humble: Thanks.