Immigration mattersArizona threatens to stop providing power to L.A. after L.A. votes to boycott Arizona

Published 21 May 2010

Following the signing into law of Arizona-s tough anti-immigration law, the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 earlier this month to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based businesses; Arizona provides 25 percent of L.A. power, and the state’s corporate commissioner warned that if L.A. does not retract the boycott decision, then Arizona would stop providing power to L.A.; San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, as well as Boston, Seattle, and Austin, Texas, also voted to boycott Arizona

Arizona Corporate Commissioner Gary Pierce // Source:

Arizona is threatening to leave Los Angeles in the dark — and its air conditioners without power — if the city does not rescind its order to boycott the state over Arizona’s tough new immigration law. “I feel like if you’re going to boycott the candy store, you’ve got to leave all the candy alone,” said Arizona corporation commissioner Gary Pierce.

Arizona provides 25 percent of Los Angeles’ power. “I feel like Arizona is the candy store,” he added.

ABC News’s Emily Friedman reports that Pierce made his challenge after the Los Angeles City Council’s 13-1 vote earlier this month to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based businesses. Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070 last month, empowering police in the state to stop people they suspect may be illegal immigrants and demand identification.

Los Angeles was among several California municipalities that have voted to boycott Arizona, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, as well as Boston, Seattle, and Austin, Texas.

Arizona has started to fight back. Pierce sent a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Tuesday explaining his stance on the issue and urging him to “reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”

If they’re really serious about this, then be true to your conviction,” Pierce told “I would be happy to help them to renegotiate the power agreements so they no longer receive power from Arizona.”

When temperatures rise over 100 degrees we’re going to love to have the extra power,” he said.

Messages left for Villaraigosa were not immediately returned and Pierce said that he has not heard back from the mayor yet either.

Mainly my letter is to call [Los Angeles] out for the silliest boycott,” said Pierce. “I wanted to get my message across and give them a flavor of how I was feeling.”

In the letter, Pierce wrote to Villaraigosa that if L.A. is serious about the boycott, he would 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,” he wrote.

Residents of Arizona are also coming to their state’s defense, writing letters to neighboring San Diego, California, threatening not to visit the popular tourist destination unless they call off their boycott. The San Diego City Council, however, never voted to boycott Arizona. The city simply condemned the state’s immigration law and voted to urge lawmakers to repeal the law.


Citizens of Arizona have misunderstood San Diego’s stance, said Joe Terzi, the CEO of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, who has been fielding hundreds of e-mails threatening not to visit the city until the boycott is lifted.