The Koch Attack on Solar Energy

G51989

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The Koch Attack on Solar Energy

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/opinion/sunday/the-koch-attack-on-solar-energy.html?_r=0

At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels.

For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive.

Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, the Kochs and ALEC have made similar efforts in other states, though they were beaten back by solar advocates in Kansas and the surtax was reduced to $5 a month in Arizona.

But the Big Carbon advocates aren’t giving up. The same group is trying to repeal or freeze Ohio’s requirement that 12.5 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Twenty-nine states have established similar standards that call for 10 percent or more in renewable power. These states can now anticipate well-financed campaigns to eliminate these targets or scale them back.

The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses. That might seem distant at the moment, when nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity is still generated by coal, and when less than 1 percent of power customers have solar arrays. (It is slightly higher in California and Hawaii.) But given new regulations on power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants, and the urgent need to reduce global warming emissions, the future clearly lies with renewable energy. In 2013, 29 percent of newly installed generation capacity came from solar, compared with 10 percent in 2012.

Renewables are good for economic as well as environmental reasons, as most states know. (More than 143,000 now work in the solar industry.) Currently, 43 states require utilities to buy excess power generated by consumers with solar arrays. This practice, known as net metering, essentially runs electric meters backward when power flows from rooftop solar panels into the grid, giving consumers a credit for the power they generate but don’t use.
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tom durkin
8 days ago

The Kochs own so many politicians, and such large astroturf and fake "committees", that we should tax ownership of politicians & such...
Deborah
12 days ago

The best refute to these mendacious propaganda is to get one solar topped house in each Red state neighborhood. The word on benefits will...
Mike
12 days ago

The Koch brothers - real patriots those conservatives propping up America's foreign dependency. Let's not forget the arguments pro and con...

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The utilities hate this requirement, for obvious reasons. A report by the Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying arm of the power industry, says this kind of law will put “a squeeze on profitability,” and warns that if state incentives are not rolled back, “it may be too late to repair the utility business model.”

Since that’s an unsympathetic argument, the utilities have devised another: Solar expansion, they claim, will actually hurt consumers. The Arizona Public Service Company, the state’s largest utility, funneled large sums through a Koch operative to a nonprofit group that ran an ad claiming net metering would hurt older people on fixed incomes by raising electric rates. The ad tried to link the requirement to President Obama. Another Koch ad likens the renewable-energy requirement to health care reform, the ultimate insult in that world. “Like Obamacare, it’s another government mandate we can’t afford,” the narrator says.

That line might appeal to Tea Partiers, but it’s deliberately misleading. This campaign is really about the profits of Koch Carbon and the utilities, which to its organizers is much more important than clean air and the consequences of climate change.
I thought the Koch Brothers were American heros to the right? Champions of the free market? Lower taxes? And letting the market decide?

Then why are they trying to make it unprofitable and increase taxes on those who choose to buy solar panels?

As Solar power explodes across America and Europe.

These hero of the GOP and the right...want more taxes? More regulations? Surcharges? Costing home owners more money?

Of course they do! It might dent their profits! And they might have to compete with a new form of power production....why compete? When you can just buy off the goverment? And force hard working Americans to pay more for energy they produce themselves?

It seems like the Kochs want to put a tax on something that is free, sunshine.

How DARE property owners generate their own energy? Its freaking communism, and destroying America! According to the the right.
 
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iBlazed

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They really need to be taken to the village center and hanged for the townspeople to watch.

“Like Obamacare, it’s another government mandate we can’t afford,” the narrator says.
GODDAMN!! They're really playing off the stupidest of the stupid Americans aren't they?
 

G51989

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They really need to be taken to the village center and hanged for the townspeople to watch.
I agree with that.

From their actions in the past few years.

It seems like the right thinks.

Big Business producing energy and selling it at a profit to the homeowner = good

Homeowners producing their own energy to power their homes = bad and communism.

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GODDAMN!! They're really playing off the stupidest of the stupid Americans aren't they?
That is what they do man, they totally ignore that energy companies get bigger handouts than any other business in America.

Then attack homeowners for taking a tax credit on solar panels to produce their own energy for their own property.

Then want to throw a huge surcharge on the homeowners making their own power. So they actually lose money in the long term. Because how DARE property owners not buy 100% of their power from the big producers? ITS COMMUNISM!


I am glad I live in a state not run by a bunch of red neck easily bought off idiots. I have solar panels on my business roofs, and my own home. Even without the tax credit, after only 2 and a half years, I'll be Saving TONS of money.
 

iBlazed

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I am glad I live in a state not run by a bunch of red neck easily bought off idiots. I have solar panels on my business roofs, and my own home. Even without the tax credit, after only 2 and a half years, I'll be Saving TONS of money.
Same here! Even though we have Governor Crispy, he's actually very pro-solar energy. Trinity Solar is scheduled to install the panels on my roof on May 28th! :D

NJ is second only to California when it comes to solar power in the US. That's a nice spit in the face to the Koch fascists.
 

G51989

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Same here! Even though we have Governor Crispy, he's actually very pro-solar energy. Trinity Solar is scheduled to install the panels on my roof on May 28th! :D

NJ is second only to California when it comes to solar power in the US. That's a nice spit in the face to the Koch fascists.

Love NJ Love Seaside Heights!

Here in New York State, we still got an awesome tax credit, and I bought AWESOME panels, they've cut my electric costs at my business office and machine shop by nearly 30%, I ever went with the wiper option, so if they get snow on them, they can clear themselves with a few swipes ;) I also have a small wind turbine on the roof off the office that saves me another 15%

At home, I put them on top of my 15 bay garage for my cars, and more on my house. During the spring and summer, and fall. And sunny winter periods, I have saved nearly 45% on my power bills. With the tax credit, they already paid themselves off.

I love my solar panels.

I also have a geothermal heating system for the winter, assisted by a 23 SEER Carrier Heatpump/AC/Electric Heat combo with DC motors ;) I save tons of money via that to.
 

iBlazed

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Love NJ Love Seaside Heights!

Here in New York State, we still got an awesome tax credit, and I bought AWESOME panels, they've cut my electric costs at my business office and machine shop by nearly 30%, I ever went with the wiper option, so if they get snow on them, they can clear themselves with a few swipes ;) I also have a small wind turbine on the roof off the office that saves me another 15%

At home, I put them on top of my 15 bay garage for my cars, and more on my house. During the spring and summer, and fall. And sunny winter periods, I have saved nearly 45% on my power bills. With the tax credit, they already paid themselves off.

I love my solar panels.

I also have a geothermal heating system for the winter, assisted by a 23 SEER Carrier Heatpump/AC/Electric Heat combo with DC motors ;) I save tons of money via that to.
Wow you went all out! Mine are actually leased. They're going to be at a fixed rate of $100 a month for the next 20 years. They're guaranteed in the contract to produce 97% of our energy needs based on our past 12 months of usage. They basically guarantee we won't have an energy bill most months and maybe a small bill in the summer. Which is better than what we pay now, our average bill is $160 and it gets up to $500 in the summer. We're getting a jumbo 9.5KW system with about 40 panels. Luckily we have a roof with a huge surface area and minimal shading and pointing in the perfect direction for optimal energy production. :D
 

Sydde

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That is what they do man, they totally ignore that energy companies get bigger handouts than any other business in America.
Obviously Dave & Chuckie want all the subsidies. It is no good letting other people get their grubby little hands into the subsidy pie. Especially not if it cuts into their revenue stream, too.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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I have no problem with a reasonable tax or fee on green energy users who are attached to the grid. As a customer, part of my bill pays for the grid's infrastructure. If you have green energy and are connected to the grid, you should pay your share of the upkeep for the infrastructure.
 

Southern Dad

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The Koch *** ***** are good examples of billionaires who should have their money taken away from them. :mad:
Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
 

G51989

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I have no problem with a reasonable tax or fee on green energy users who are attached to the grid. As a customer, part of my bill pays for the grid's infrastructure. If you have green energy and are connected to the grid, you should pay your share of the upkeep for the infrastructure.
Well, people with stuff like polar panels or windmills on their homes are already paying their share for upkeep of the grid via the power they buy from the power company.

The issue here is that energy companies want to charge them for power they...aren't buying from the grid. They're upset that energy isn't being bought.

So what these energy lobbyists are saying is " Well you aren't buying as much power anymore, so we're gonna charge you for power that we didn't produce because you made your own "
 

Bug-Creator

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Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
Mmmm....

Were did he write that he wanted their freedom of speech limited or even that he wanted to take their money based on their opinion ?

All he wrote (IMO) was that these 2 are the perfect example of why billionaires should be taxed into oblivion. An OPINION you don't aggree with, but also not so far from those coming up with welfare queens and Obamaphones as a reason to dismantle welfare.
 

G51989

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Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
I don't know if it has anything to do with wealth envy on that posters part.

But, what they are trying to do, is charge people with say solar panels or wind turbines on their property, need to pay a tax on that energy, or surcharge because they aren't buying energy from energy companies. It's literally a tax on the sun that only harms middle class homeowners.

Does that kind of lobbying fall under " free speech "

And the Koch Bros are super into lower taxes, or even in some cases removing many taxes completely. But here, they seem to want more taxes. Does that not seem kinda hypocritical?

I find the entire idea of these laws insane, why should I have to pay an extra tax or a surcharge to an energy company when I'm making my own energy with my own equipment to reduce the amount of energy I have to buy from them? I should have to pay my power bill for what I buy. Nothing else.
 

Huntn

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Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
Wow! You have a tendency of making these type of leaps. I don't envy them their wealth. I dispise their use of it with an exaggerated ability to influence the democratic process towards their own means. Apparantly I have to explain to you that I don't expect their money to be taken from them, but I can fantasize about it because they don't deserve this kind of power. That phrase along with great power comes great responsibility, the Koch brothers who you probably worship, are misusing theirs.
 

Southern Dad

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Wow! You have a tendency of making these type of leaps. I don't envy them their wealth. I dispise their use of it with an exaggerated ability to influence the democratic process towards their own means. Apparantly I have to explain to you that I don't expect their money to be taken from them, but I can fantasize about it because they don't deserve this kind of power. That phrase along with great power comes great responsibility, the Koch brothers who you probably worship, are misusing theirs.
But yet you would say that they deserve to have their wealth taken from them. It was a pretty clear statement. Here in the USA we don't seize people's wealth because we disagree with them. Now, in a few other countries on this planet, maybe but never in this one.
 

G51989

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But yet you would say that they deserve to have their wealth taken from them. It was a pretty clear statement. Here in the USA we don't seize people's wealth because we disagree with them. Now, in a few other countries on this planet, maybe but never in this one.
I agree with you.

But does it not seem like they are trying to seize peoples via extra taxes and surcharges on people wanting to use green energy? Essentially charging people for energy they never even purchased. It seems like they want other peoples wealth to be seized.
 

Huntn

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But yet you would say that they deserve to have their wealth taken from them. It was a pretty clear statement. Here in the USA we don't seize people's wealth because we disagree with them. Now, in a few other countries on this planet, maybe but never in this one.
Thanks for the lecture, lol. Yes I would, no hesitation at all. Think of it as trust busting. Here in America we allow billionaires to corrupt the democratic political process. Apparantly you have no issue that because they earned it and they deserve to do what they want with it. Money always makes right? And yes it was a clear statement of how I feel about the Koch Brothers. They are evil **** heads.
 

Southern Dad

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Thanks for the lecture, lol. Here in America we allow billionaires to corrupt the democratic political process. Apparantly you have no issue that because they earned it and they deserve to do what they want with it. Money always makes right? And yes it was a clear statement of how I feel about the Koch Brothers. They are evil **** heads.
You got it. It is their money to spend as they wish. They have the same rights and freedoms as any other American. If they want to spend their money on a certain party or group of candidates, so be it.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
I agree with you.

But does it not seem like they are trying to seize peoples via extra taxes and surcharges on people wanting to use green energy? Essentially charging people for energy they never even purchased. It seems like they want other peoples wealth to be seized.
I am saying they abuse their position, they don't deserve their wealth. It's that simple. I'm not proposing an unofficial militia come take it from them. :p

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You got it. It is their money to spend as they wish. They have the same rights and freedoms as any other American. If they want to spend their money on a certain party or group of candidates, so be it.
There is no "so be it" unless you are rooting for the country to fail. It's one of the fundamental problems with this country today. Laws must be passed to prevent this kind of subversion of the democratic process. Money equals corruption, and sitting on a huge pile of it gives individuals undue say in the process that they do not deserve regardless of how rich they are.
 

Michael Goff

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Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
Him wanting their money taken has nothing to do with wealth envy. :|
 

iBlazed

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Feb 27, 2014
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Wow! Now that really shows how wealth envy is in the USA. Rather than support their right to freedom of speech regardless of whether you agree with what they say or not, you feel that their money should be "taken away from them".

Just thought, I'd let you know that we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We don't seize a person's assets or wealth because we disagree with them.
Would it have killed you to reply to the actual topic of the thread and give your opinion on the anti-American actions of the Koch douches rather than attacking a member who despises them for all the harm they're attempting to do and already have?

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I don't see how you can sell oil dependence over alternative energy homegrown in the US and call yourself American.
Bingo! And people wonder why I call them anti-American....