It seems that, much to the chagrin of Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric Co., Gulf Power, and some nonprofits heavily funded by Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers, that Floridians are smarter than they were assumed to be. On November 8th, voters rejected Amendment 1 which would have severely limited Floridians future solar choices.
Crafted with the sole intent of trickery, the “Consumers for Smart Solar” sought to restrict and monopolize the burgeoning solar industry. The absolute last thing they wanted was free-market competition. In fact, they put $22 million out for Amendment 1 to protect their interests…but it didn’t work.
While the first item on the ballot gave electricity consumers a “constitutional right” to own or lease solar equipment “for their own use” (which we already have) the second part was the tricky bit: “State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric access to those who do.”
But thankfully, Floridians had a bit of extra help right before the election when Mary Ellen Klas, of the Miami Herald, released an audiotape in which Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute can be heard praising Amendment 1 as “an incredibly savvy maneuver” that “would completely negate anything they (pro-solar groups) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road.”
Had the Amendment passed, it would have allowed municipalities and the state to hit local solar providers with fees and regulations which might have prevented them from selling low-cost electricity to customers- the very purpose of solar technology.
Charles and David Koch have been waging war on solar power all over the country, cheers to us for at least stopping them in sunny Florida.
Source: Miami Herald