Did you believe Conservatives when they claimed they believe in the Capitalist system and the Free Market? What a silly person you are. Conservatives believe in big money. They believe in Oligarchy. They believe in the aristocracy. As such the ultimate Conservative government, Oklahoma moved to make distributed power generation by individual customers unaffordable.
"Paul Monies reports at NewsOK that Oklahoma's legislature has passed a bill that allows regulated utilities to apply to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to charge a higher base rate to customers who generate solar and wind energy and send their excess power back into the grid reversing a 1977 law that forbade utilities to charge extra to solar users. 'Renewable energy fed back into the grid is ultimately doing utility companies a service,' says John Aziz. 'Solar generates in the daytime, when demand for electricity is highest, thereby alleviating pressure during peak demand.'
Pick your reason for distributed power generation, you'll be hard pressed to find a downside. Generating small amounts of power throughout the grid reduces the need for expensive upgrades. It makes individual customers less dependent on the most heavily regulated industry in the nation...utilities. It saves customers rate increases by forestalling the need to build and pay for massive power generating stations. It reduces pollution and the amount of carbon being pumped into the atmosphere.
It also threatens the continued financial dominance of the Oligarchs, however. As a result it should be no surprise that the Koch brothers, their paid lap dogs Americans for Prosperity, and secret lobbying muscle ALEC are leading the effort to prevent individual hard working Americans from becoming less dependent on Big Business and in some cases perhaps even earn a little money through their home-based power plants.
The escalating battle centers over two ways traditional utilities have found to counter the rapidly growing solar market: demanding a share of the power generated by renewables and opposing net metering, which allows solar panel users to sell the extra electricity they generate back to the grid — and without which solar might no longer be affordable. The Times reports on the conservative heavyweights making a fossil fuel-powered effort to make those things happen:
The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation’s largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.
…The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates.
“State governments are starting to wake up,” Christine Harbin Hanson, a spokeswoman for Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, said in an email. The organization has led the effort to overturn the mandate in Kansas, which requires that 20% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources.
“These green energy mandates are bad policy,” said Hanson, adding that the group was hopeful Kansas would be the first of many dominoes to fall.
For a long time I wondered out it came to be that "conservation" is the opposite of "conservative." Then I realized the answer is obvious...follow the money.