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Here was a news tidbit I had missed recently, due to other off-the-grid activities I was involved in.  That news item was raised in the discussion thread of the currently Rec'd Post:

Oklahoma just passed a law (41+ / 0-)

to charge our citizens a fee for installing solar panels. That comes from the immense lobby of  the electric companies.

-- by weezilgirl

Now Republicans want to "tax us" for making use of the Sun -- simply unbelievable.

What next, are they going to "tax us" for wanting to breath clean air too?  (and disturbing their precious "corporate right to pollute" too?)

Here's that red-state news, that slipped by my radar screen, in case you missed it too:

Okla. Utilities Hit Homes Using Solar With Extra Fee

NewsOK, -- April 22, 2014

Anyone living in Oklahoma planning to power their home using a rooftop solar panel will soon be charged a fee for the right to do that while still being connected to the local power grid.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed the “solar surcharge” bill into law on Monday, permitting utilities to charge an extra fee to any customer using distributed power generation, such as rooftop solar or a small wind turbine.

The practice of utility customers providing home-generated power to the grid and receiving credits for the power they produce is called “net metering,” and is legal in most states. But, it is something the electric power industry considers a threat to traditional utilities, which use centralized power sources that distribute electricity to customers via the power grid.

“Right now, a distributed generation customer is really paying less for the maintenance of the infrastructure than our other customers,” despite the up-front costs of installing solar panels on a roof, said Kathleen O’Shea, spokeswoman for Oklahoma Gas and Electric, or OGE, one of the state’s largest utilities.

In that same ericlewis0 post, another commenter said:
What ALEC Is Pushing Across the Country (26+ / 0-)

is a tax or fee for anyone who's on the grid who installs solar. I don't think it matters if they intend to sell any power back. The justification is they'll be using the grid less than they were, therefore their utility bills won't pay enough for grid upkeep.

-- by Gooserock

Which got me thinking, 'Hmmm, sounds about right for ALEC ... wonder what I can find to back it up?' That this right-wing corporate lobbyist and legislative writing group, really wants to protect the traditional carbon-based energy markets by Taxing (or otherwise blocking) the Sun ...

Well I'll give ALEC this much, their website Search Engine is pretty dang good:  (guess they can afford it.)

The Honorable Gary Banz, OK (HD-101) and Amy Kjose, director of the Task Force on Civil Justice, appeared on “Inside the Issue” to discuss the American Legislative Exchange Council and [...]

The Case Against Renewable Energy Mandates

As reported by Bloomberg and The Washington Post, more than half the states with laws requiring utilities to buy renewable energy are considering ways to pare back those mandates after a plunge in natural gas prices brought on by technology boosted supply. Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut.

Todd Wynn, the Exchange Council’s task force director for energy, environment and agriculture, sat down with Bloomberg to make the case against renewable energy mandates:

We’re opposed to these mandates, and 2013 will be the most active year ever in terms of efforts to repeal them… Natural gas is a clean fuel, and regulators and policy makers are seeing how it’s much more affordable than renewable energy… North Carolina is leading the nation in protecting consumers from the mandates for high-cost energy. It will show other states how to follow suit.
He adds:
Alec wants to repeal state mandates, arguing that the free market is a better way to determine the most cost-effective source of power, Wynn said. It typically drafts model legislation for state lawmakers to use as a blueprint when drafting bills, including the Electricity Freedom Act, which was published in October.
Source:   ALEC’s  weekly email update for the week of 04-25-2013

The Electricity Freedom Act !?   Yup, I remember writing about that at the time ... funny, where's the ALEC Solar and Wind Freedom Act?  

... assuming they really want the consumers to decide ?

Electricity Freedom Act


Summary: The Electricity Freedom Act repeals the State of {insert state}’s requirement that electric distribution utilities and electric services companies provide ___ percent of their electricity supplies from renewable energy sources by ___.

WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and ratepayers to use renewable energy through a government mandate will increase the cost of doing business and push companies to do business with other states or nations, thereby decreasing American competitiveness;

WHEREAS, due to the renewable energy mandate a tremendous amount of economic growth is sacrificed for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of greenhouse gases;

WHEREAS, government mandates to produce renewable energy necessarily involve increasing costs for ratepayers while benefiting politically favored industries;

WHEREAS, electric utilities may have invested in long-term renewable energy assets and/or purchase power agreements, as well as other infrastructure necessary to comply with current and future levels of renewable energy mandates;

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the legislature of the State of _____ understands that a renewable energy mandate is essentially a tax on consumers of electricity that forces the use of renewable energy sources beyond what would be called for by real market forces and under conditions of real competition in generation resources; and

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED, that the State of {insert state} repeals the renewable energy mandate and as such, no electric distribution utilities and electric services companies will be forced to procure renewable energy resources as defined by the State of {insert state}’s renewable energy mandate.

        Adopted by the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the 2012 Annual Meeting on July 26, 2012. Approved by ALEC Board of State Legislators on October 18, 2012.

Here's a few questions that ALEC (and every Republican that carries out their Agenda) needs to answer:

     1)  Since power utilities are quasi-monopolies, how is the consumer market suppose to be able to CHOOSE renewable energy sources -- unless they are offered by the utilities?

     2)  If the government is not able to set environmental standards and energy portfolio goals for long-term usage, who should -- corporate CEOs like the Koch Brothers?

     3)  If providing a wider portfolio of renewable energy to consumers, "will increase the cost of doing business" -- then what costs will us consumers have to endure (in the form of droughts, floods, fires, and pests) -- if we follow ALEC's dictates, and keep the Electricity Utilities "free from" the incidental burdens of adding those renewable choices?

Inquiring and future-oriented energy consumers, should want to know ...

Especially those in the ALEC-controlled state of Oklahoma.

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