Will Tea Party/Kochs try Government Shut-down to Stall Carbon Rules?

June 22, 2014

Al Gore has a new piece in Rolling Stone, that will probably hold no surprises for readers of this blog – but works as a good summary for those who have not been paying attention. Worth a look.

Al Gore in Rolling Stone:

The chief battleground in this war between the energy systems of the past and future is our electrical grid. For more than a century, the grid – along with the regulatory and legal framework governing it – has been dominated by electric utilities and their centralized, fossil-fuel-powered­ electricity-generation plants. But the rise of distributed alternate energy sources allows consumers to participate in the production of electricity through a policy called net metering. In 43 states, homeowners who install solar PV to systems on their rooftops are permitted to sell electricity back into the grid when they generate more than they need.

These policies have been crucial to the growth of solar power. But net metering represents an existential threat to the future of electric utilities, the so-called utility death spiral: As more consumers install solar panels on their roofs, utilities will have to raise prices on their remaining customers to recover the lost revenues. Those higher rates will, in turn, drive more consumers to leave the utility system, and so on.

But here is more good news: The Koch brothers are losing rather badly. In Kansas, their home state, a poll by North Star Opinion Research reported that 91 percent of registered voters support solar and wind. Three-quarters supported stronger policy encouragement of renewable energy, even if such policies raised their electricity bills.

In Georgia, the Atlanta Tea Party joined forces with the Sierra Club to form a new organization called – wait for it – the Green Tea Coalition, which promptly defeated a Koch-funded scheme to tax rooftop solar panels.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, after the state’s largest utility, an ALEC member, asked the public-utility commission for a tax of up to $150 per month for solar households, the opposition was fierce and well-organized. A compromise was worked out – those households would be charged just $5 per month – but Barry Goldwater Jr., the leader of a newly formed organization called TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed), is fighting a new attempt to discourage rooftop solar in Arizona. Characteristically, the Koch brothers and their allies have been using secretive and deceptive funding in Arizona to run television advertisements attacking “greedy” owners of rooftop solar panels – but their effort has thus far backfired, as local journalists have exposed the funding scam.

 

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2 Responses to “Will Tea Party/Kochs try Government Shut-down to Stall Carbon Rules?”

  1. climatebob Says:

    I’ve just looked up CO2 emissions on a per capita basis. USA 18, Europe 8.3 and China 4.2. The USA needs to make some big changes and decide it they can go on polluting the world to make money. We are all on one planet and there is no plan B. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/clean-energy-alternatives.html


  2. […] energy has overcome big money and big clout from utilities and dirty energy advocates like ALEC and Americans for Prosperity. Look for more in the Southwest and Southeast, gradually moving […]


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