Arizona threatens to cut power to Los Angeles
I’m not a fan of SB-1070, Arizona’s new immigration law. I think it is bad for the economy, bad for civil liberties, and a drain on important law enforcement resources and capabilities. It’s the wrong approach to the immigration problem, and I hope we can find better ways to address both immigration and the war on drugs.
All that being said, I think boycotts of Arizona are misguided and will inevitably end up hurting the poor and working class the most, including immigrants both legal and illegal. Recently, the Los Angeles city council voted on just such a boycott.
Now Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission, has written a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, saying that if L.A. continues its boycott, Arizona will stop providing Los Angeles with power from its power plants. You can read the whole letter here.
I think this is an appropriate response. Arizona’s law may be wrong-headed, but who are the LA City Council to determine that or to impose economic sanctions on Arizonans? We already know that sanctions (i.e. official boycotts) hurt the most vulnerable. This happens overseas when our government or the UN places sanctions on so-called “rogue” states like Iran or previously Iraq. The poor and the vulnerable suffer the most.
I’m all for cutting off L.A.’s power. It’s not only just desserts, it’s good for the environment, too.
Next up: water rights! The Colorado River passes through Arizona on its way to California, after all….