Coalition of Conservatives and Progressives Join to Battle Utilities’ Curbs on Florida Solar

first_imgCoalition of Conservatives and Progressives Join to Battle Utilities’ Curbs on Florida Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Sam Ross-Brown for The American Prospect:An unlikely alliance of Tea Party conservatives and progressive climate advocates has come together to fight a controversial solar energy ballot initiative in Florida. Launched in 2015, the so-called “green tea” coalition that includes the Nature Conservancy, the Christian Coalition, the Sierra Club, are standing firm against a measure that would enshrine Florida’s anti-solar policies in the state constitution. The coalition views the amendment as a power grab by the state’s largest utility companies that could cripple the state’s nascent solar industry and undermine consumers’ ability to tap into Florida’s vast solar energy potential.The Florida Right to Solar Energy Choice Initiative, which heads to voters in November, would give residents “the right to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use.” The measure, known as “Amendment 1,” also mandates that “consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize” those that do.While Amendment 1 supporters frame the initiative as a pro-solar consumer-protection measure, opponents say the language is intentionally misleading:Despite its wording, the amendment does not actually allow consumers to lease home solar systems from a solar-power installer or developer. This financing model, also known as third-party leasing, has made solar systems more affordable for residents in many other states. Similarly, Florida residents already have the right to buy and use rooftop solar panels, and protections for energy consumers are strong.Instead, opponents stress that the measure is designed to enshrine the existing leasing ban in the Florida Constitution in tandem with a specific prohibition against “subsidies” for solar customers. Depending on how that language is interpreted and enforced, these changes could make solar power prohibitively expensive for the average Florida consumer and more difficult in the future to change policy.With the rapid growth of rooftop solar in recent years, major power companies in many states want to roll back the tax incentives that have played a critical role in making small-scale solar-power installations affordable for homeowners, apartment dwellers, and small businesses. But conservative Republicans and environmental advocates have joined forces against what they view as unfair market practices by large utility companies and their industry allies that have balked at the competition from small-scale solar systems.Boasting vast and largely untapped solar energy resources, the Sunshine State’s battle over rooftop solar systems has brought conservatives and progressives together in a joint effort to promote small-scale green energy. “This is about choice and freedom,” says Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Tea Party movement who recently joined the pro-solar policy fight in Florida. “I think Ronald Reagan said it best: Being good stewards of the environment that God gave us should not be a partisan issue.”In 2014, Dooley helped establish Conservatives for Energy Freedom, a national group that serves as a counterweight to the large, investor-owned utilities that have opposed the growth of residential solar-energy systems. These companies operate, generate, transmit, and distribute energy with almost no competition in Florida and elsewhere. “That government-created monopoly model really conflicts with conservative values,” says Dooley. “It’s about stifling competition.”The solution, Dooley realized, involved empowering consumers to generate their own electricity, particularly through rooftop solar systems. The group waged and won its first political battle in 2015 when Georgia passed a law that permits third-party leasing. Under the new law, consumers can now lease home sola- energy systems from installation companies and purchase the power generated by those systems at a discounted rate. This financing model allows Georgians to avoid the high upfront costs of buying a home solar system and has increased rooftop solar installations statewide.After the Georgia battle, the group turned its attention to Florida, where utility companies had recently won a fight to gut the state’s energy efficiency and solar rebate programs. These types of changes, Dooley says, “essentially block out the sun.” The power companies’ attempts to enshrine anti-solar policies in the state constitution could cripple Florida’s solar industry, she warns.The proposed amendment would ban “subsidies” for solar customers. Those subsides could include programs like net metering, which allows solar consumers to sell their excess power back to utilities at market rates. A net metering rate cut would make a home solar-power energy systems more expensive for most Florida homeowners.Florida largest power companies and conservative business groups are bankrolling a well-funded and coordinated pro–Amendment 1 effort. The Consumers for Smart Solar campaign emphasizes the need to “protect Floridians from scams and rip-offs” and “promote solar in the Sunshine State.” Since last summer, Consumers for Smart Solar has raised and spent more than $7.6 million, $2 million more than Governor Rick Scott’s re-election PAC, Let’s Get to Work, has pulled in.According to Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund, that rhetoric is designed to confuse voters, since Florida consumers currently have the right to own and use solar panels and third-party leasing is already banned. In fact, Florida is one of just four states that outlaw third-party leasing. Moreover, the initiative does not contain any new consumer protections. “They’re trying to undermine the economics of rooftop solar,” says Smith whose group is a “green tea” ally of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “You can see them dancing around that.”But Kallinger says solar customers should share the costs of operating the power grid. “If you choose to use solar, and you use the grid, you have to pay for the maintenance of that grid,” he says, echoing language utility company officials have used in Michigan, Nevada, and a few other states. In the coming months, Consumers for Smart Solar plans to step up its anti-solar campaign with “Yes on 1 for the Sun” TV ads, direct mailings, and a social media push.Yet there may be some dark clouds on the horizon for Amendment 1. A March Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey of 625 registered Florida voters found that 64 percent of those polled supported the measure, while 18 percent opposed it and another 18 percent were ‘not sure.’ Support for the measure has dropped nearly 10 percentage points since a Hill Research Associates February survey commissioned by the proponents, Consumers for Smart Solar.Under Florida law, constitutional amendments must obtain 60 percent of the vote to pass. In recent weeks, the Tampa Bay Times, Sun Sentinel, and a handful of other Florida newspapers have expressed deep skepticism about Amendment 1, calling its language “deceptive” and “manipulative.”The Florida solar campaign demonstrates how that conservatives and progressives can find common ground on energy policy.Full article: Tea Partiers and Progressives Unite Against ‘Deceptive’ Florida Ballot Initiativelast_img read more

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US directs $45m to support fight against Boko Haram

first_imgUS President Barrack Obama on Thursday authorized $45 million in defense aid to five West African countries to support their efforts in battling islamist militant group Boko Haram.Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger will receive support in terms of training and military equipment from the United States to help defeat the group that continues to cause a huge threat to security in the region.The National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said that the authorization will enable Secretary of State John Kerry to provide critical airlift support and other assistance, including helping the Lake Chad Basin countries to move troops and equipment to the border region from which Boko Haram terrorists continue to launch brutal attacks on civilians.Ned also said the the US will continue to provide advisors and share information to counter Boko Haram’s operations, as well as support victims and to counter extremism programming.The announcement comes after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Washington and Obama said his administration would again give military aid to Abuja after a dispute with former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan.last_img read more

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Akhator: Tokyo 2020 postponement good for D’Tigress

first_img Speaking with Lagos-based Brila FM, Akhator admitted without  the pandemic has affected everyone citing the psychological effect as one that wouldn’t even benefit the D’Tigress of any of the players of the national team.Advertisement FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now20 Facts That’ll Change Your Perception Of “The Big Bang Theory”20 Completely Unexpected Facts About ‘The Big Bang Theory’Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Best Cars Of All TimeThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love WithCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way27 Breathtakingly Beautiful Albino AnimalsTop 10 Iconic Personalities On TV Now10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do She noted that the coronavirus was a huge distractions as many athletes were worried about their safety at Tokyo 2020. The IOC gave official announcement to this effect due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world and brought every sporting activity to a halt. “Nobody was ready for this plague and we as athletes we don’t even know when this will be over and I pray it’s over soon.“We were just hoping that the Olympics should be postponed because we are not ready to play basketball with all of these happenings. I think postponing it is a good thing.” Loading… D’Tigress forward Evelyn Akhator has stressed she is satisfied with the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Game. Read Also: Messi gifts €1m to hospitals to combat coronaviruslast_img read more

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NPFL: Rabiu Ali’s Brace Sinks Rivers Utd Deeper into Trouble

first_imgAfter a scoreless first half, Rabiu opened scoring in the 52nd minute from the penalty spot after Amos Gyang was fouled inside the box.Man-of-the-Match Rabiu will double the home team’s lead six minutes later when he put away a pass by substitute winger Hamza Abba Tiya.Rivers United next game will be on Monday when they welcome Katsina United to Port Harcourt.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram CHAN Eagles midfielder Rabiu Ali struck twice with Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr in the stands as Kano Pillars won 2-0 in a rescheduled NPFL clash with Rivers United thursday.Pillars have now moved to ninth on the table with 47 points from 32 matches, while Rivers United remains in 16th place on 41 points.last_img

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