This blog will deal with a case study as to how the far right conservative groups within the Republican Party and utility companies could again use legislation or government intervention to burden folks with additional taxes to improve the environment by using products such as solar paneling and wind turbines.
As a Florida registered republican, I have a natural bias towards limiting the growth of government. Still, I do believe that climate change is real and that governmental services are necessary. I just want governmental services to be effectively delivered and accountable to the taxpayer. I have a right to know that my government is acting in my best interests and that my tax monies are being prudently spent. This is why I find the State of Oklahoma’s legislative body’s attempts to enact a tax against customers who plan to purchase renewable energy products beyond 2014, reprehensible.
What do you normally expect the rhetoric to be from energy distributing and producing companies? These companies frequently discuss the need for less government interference, less regulation and oversight from government agencies such as the EPA. Their executives would lobby big time against any possible increase in taxes or fees. They would trumpet words about letting the marketplace and competition run its course. In general, the Republicans and conservatives would be supportive of this type of thinking.
How many stories over the years have we as consumers heard about communities being without power during extreme cold and heat temperatures for days frequently after a major storm? Have you heard about any infrastructure plans to prevent future similar occurrences from any utility and power companies?
Recall all the newspaper articles about climate change causing recent storms and the need to incentivize the consumer in conserving energy usage. Imagine a consumer creating a green home as pictured at the top of this blog.This person has invested his own hard earned monies, time and labor in an attempt to save monies while providing some security for his/ her family against future power outages and shortages.This family is benefitting by not being so dependent on the government and utility companies which are not always reliable. They are also doing their part to save the environment by limiting the amount of waste and power usage incurred by themselves. These are people demonstrating self responsibility and industriousness usually highly regarded by my fellow conservatives and republicans even while they discount any scientific evidence about climate change.
Can you believe that there are government entities and businesses which would want responsible consumers to pay a tax for the above sensible described behaviors? Instead state government should be providing incentives for consumers who modify their homes with solar panels, wind turbines, etc. Any state government pretending climate change does not exist should not live in areas subject to harsh weather conditions such as tornado alley. For sure, any property and casualty company should not endorse in any form, any government official who professes to discount the ample scientific evidence proving the existence of climate change.
Welcome to the State of Oklahoma in the year of 2014. At the behest of and Public Service Company of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma republican led congress passed a law to tax residents who plan to install energy saving devices such as solar panels and /or wind turbines on their property.
It was to be signed by the same Governor Mary Fallen who in 2013 was presented by ALEC, the “Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award for her “record of advancing the fundamental Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty.”
ALEC, a conservative organization originally started by the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry are against laws implemented in over 40 states pertaining to “net metering.” This is a process that allows customers to receive compensation for excess power developed from their solar panels which are then given back to the utility company’s power grid. Many power and utility company executives describe those that benefit from “net metering” as freeloaders. In general, they argue that the utility companies need these folks to contribute their fair share towards maintaining the grid infrastructure so that the power companies can transmit electricity safely to their customers.
What these executives don’t bother to explain is that they benefit from this alternate power source. Solar systems are able to generate power during the utility companies’ peak hours and seasons. The power companies have access to this excess power which helps them to deliver power to their customers without rolling blackouts or outages. In addition, the customers with solar panels are not using the utility transmission lines which means these lines incur less wear and tear and will not have to be replaced as quickly.
According to the Oklahoman Newspaper, an Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company spokesperson stated, “we’re not anti-solar or anti-wind or trying to slow this down. We’ve been studying this trend. We know it’s coming, and we want to get ahead of it.”
Guess who came to the rescue of green activists and the residents of Oklahoma. It is a tea party group started by Barry Goldwater, TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed)that successfully lobbied the office of the governor. As per Oklahoma SB 1456: Why the Tea Party is fighting for solar…www.slate.com/ by Josh Voorheess, on April 22, 2014, “to the surprise of pretty much everyone involved, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, issued an executive order largely undercutting the provision, dealing an unexpected defeat to major utilities and their deep-pocketed backers—a group that includes the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC) a powerful national membership group for conservative state lawmakers.”
1.) US Companies’ Use of Solar Increases 40% Over 2012 www.renewableenergyworld.com/…/companies-use-of-solar-in-u-s-increase…
2.)As Solar Panel Efficiencies Keep Improving, It’s Time To …www.forbes.com/…/as–solar–panel-efficiencies-keep-improving-its…
4.)Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power…tech.slashdot.org/…/oklahoma-moves-to-discourage-solar-and-w…
5.)Oklahoma SB 1456: Why the Tea Party is fighting for solar…www.slate.com/…/oklahoma_sb_1456_why_the_tea_party…by Josh Voorhees