Red States Trying to Sabotage Renewable Energy Development
Americans For Prosperity (a Koch Brothers’ front group) and ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) have ordered their prostitutes — formerly known as state legislators and “regulatory” agencies — to protect the fossil fuel industry by derailing solar and wind energy development. And these prostitutes are duly obeying their johns' orders.
In Arizona, Georgia, Idaho and Kansas, state legislatures and/or utility companies have tried to clamp down on renewable energy sources. And this has created some strange bedfellows. Some Tea Party members have actually lived up to their own “Free Market” rhetoric by standing up to the monopoly utility companies and demanding their right to use — and/or generate — solar energy.
Arizona Public Service — Arizona’s largest electric utility — wants to crack down on net-metering. This is the process whereby homes equipped with solar panels can sell back their excess solar power to the utility company. Arizona Public Service wants all homeowners who have solar panels to pay an additional $100 a month just for the privilege of selling their excess power back to Arizona Public Service.
On July 16th hundreds of demonstrators showed their displeasure with Arizona Public Service. As the linked article says:
“After all, net-metering challenges a government monopoly. It’s made with American ingenuity. The alternative is a costly boondoggle of centrally regulated authority.”
The article continues:
“APS is facing its own mortality. If rooftop solar is adopted widely enough, it means a death spiral for the electric utilities. The price per kilowatt-hour for solar is plummeting. The utilities all know it, and they’re fighting back by making net-metering more expensive.”
Also, Arizona’s Public Utilities Commission is closely allied with ALEC. ALEC is the shadowy rightwing organization behind the epidemic of Stand Your Ground laws, “ag gag” laws and voter suppression laws, as well as these attempts to sabotage renewable energy.
The article says:
“The solar fight in Arizona crystallizes red states’ dilemma: Do they listen to the explicitly fossil-fueled Americans For Prosperity and the Koch brothers, or do they choose politically popular renewable energy?”
In Georgia, Tea Party members joined forces with the solar energy industry to force Georgia’s Public Utilities Commission to incorporate more solar net-metering.
In Kansas, farmers who wanted to create wind energy successfully fought a state law that would have delayed the implementation of renewable energy. (I drove across Kansas once, and believe me, it is WINDY.)
Even in Idaho, the Public Utilities Commission prohibited a large utility monopoly from their attempted clamp-down on solar net-metering.