Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Green Tea, it's not all that bitter, cures ALEC

The tea party and green groups in several states have learned they can make green tea, and it satisfies both groups.
In Arizona the utility and ALEC just lost one fight to tax solar panels out of the market, however with connections in the legislature they are back after a month with another try.  The push was for a $150 a month tax on home owners with solar panels, it settled at $5.  But immediately industry reintroduced another fight.  Part of the publics push back comes from a quickly formed group "TUSK", Tell Utilities Solar won't be Killed.  Excellent at raising tea party members to the fight with statements like this from Tom Morrissey, “Conservatives who support school choice and healthcare choice should join me in supporting energy choice. As conservatives, we are morally obligated to fight new tax proposals. Monopoly utilities request to end net metering amounts to a tax on solar savings. It also seeks to line the pockets of a regulated monopoly through government intervention. I am proud to join Barry Goldwater Jr. in leading the charge towards more energy competition and private investment."

In the Dakota's Green Tea has also had success against attempts to cripple net metering.  This net metering fight normally takes the following course; limiting how much energy the utility will pay for, setting the price at wholesale or more often far far below, often not paying for it or crediting it for 1 year after it's produced, in some cases a complex set of monthly averages and limits means the homeowner could get nothing at all for feeding the grid.  The goal of the monopoly is to strangle competition and increase not reduce cost to the user.  The goal of Green Tea groups is to label these attacks as; a tax on sunshine, attack on personal choice, government siding against the citizen.

In Georgia a Green Tea coalition succeeded in turning back a law that would outlaw solar panels being owned by someone other than the property owner.  In other words private citizens would have to pay for the solar system in full up front, outlawing leasing, renting, or financing of solar systems.  Mandating it a cash only product, maybe the only one in the state.
The head of the Tea Party considered the law an attack on freedom of choice and a way to perpetuate subsidies and profits to coal and gas.  The baggers and the tree huggers don't agree on anything else, but they worked on this together, an unholy alliance some in both groups protested with disgust, but they did it anyhow and it satisfied both.

Elsewhere around the country green tea convinced one utility board to allow customers to indicate if they want to buy green or conventional energy.   This means if more customers ask for green energy the utility must buy green energy or green energy credits to offset pollution of gas and coal.


  1. Win win is always great to see even among strange bed fellows! Thanks for the post Darrel!

    1. Hey Pop! Maybe this will spread to other states, and causes.


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