Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherfordton, has drunk deeply of the Koch Bros. tea (made of four parts petroleum and one part fantasy), and has embraced hostility to solar energy as his crusade to rid North Carolina of the coming evil of "renewable energy."
"Sustainability" is a nasty word to Mike Hager.
Backed by the Koch-funded American Energy Alliance, the political lobbying arm of the Institute for Energy Policy, Mr. Hager held a round-table, ritual gutting of solar energy and other "renewables" at the General Assembly yesterday in an effort to convince his fellow legislators and the general public that the state's modest feint toward encouraging renewable energy with tax credits not only endangers democracy but actually robs poor people of money they could use to buy more lottery chances.
Some bird-nosed "expert" actually claimed at the meeting that solar energy took an average of $3,800 of disposable income out of every North Carolina household in 2013.
These legislative fossils who eat, drink, and spew fossil fuel will also be deeply embarrassed when ice-melt swamps the coast. No, check that. They won't be embarrassed at all. They'll still be deep in that river in Africa.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Long Knives Out in Raleigh To Kill Solar
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 9/10/2015 07:46:00 AM
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ALEC hates solar. The Kochs hate solar. Duke Energy gives lip service to it but its solar projects are still in the low single digits in terms of power generation in NC and it is content to leave the tax credit issue twisting slowly in the wind. Cutting the tax credit will hurt many private and non-profit organizations that have been moving to solar. And of course attacking solar is just one more way for GOPers to express their undying hatred for Obama, b/c the DOE is cranking up its efforts to promote renewables--this is the agency Sarah Palin wants to be put in charge of so she can eliminate it....
I don't understand their hatred for renewable energy. I know it's all about money to them, but isn't there money to be made in the renewables industry? I think I read somewhere that the solar industry now employs more people than the coal industry in the U.S.
Perhaps if there was sufficient demand for solar energy, the public would support it with their purchases instead of politicians subsidizing it with tax money. Is it a business? or a charity?
Anonymous 1:41. Please. The public supports the petroleum industry with their purchases and it was still subsidized to the tune of 18 billion last year by the US government. And, many have no choice but to support it because we have a severe lack of energy and transportation choices due the 19th century thinking of rocket scientists like we currently have in Raleigh. I've long since given up looking for intellectually consistent arguments, but I'll take your whining about "public support" more seriously when you're equally outraged about piles of cash and competitive advantage we hand to the oil/gas industry, largely with taxpayer money. Maybe you own a lot of stock, or are just uncomfortable with change? Is a "free market" and "an equal playing field" no longer Republican mantras? Not so much apparently, when campaign donations are involved.
PS- Exxon is pissed you referred to them as a "charity."
You are joking, right, Anonymous? There is demand for electricity, and I'd say most people don't give a shit where it comes from. I don't know if my power comes from coal, wind, water, or solar, and I'd don't care as long as the lights come on when I flip the switch. I would rather that we move toward cleaner energy sources, though. Would you rather live near a coal-burning plant or a field of solar panels? Politicians have been subsidizing oil and coal for years. There are lots of things that we pay for that don't bring money in.... Like firefighters, parks, sidewalks, schools, etc.
Opponents of renewable energy programs held an hour-long roundtable at the Legislative Building on Wednesday about their concerns.
The event was sponsored by the American Energy Alliance, the political lobbying arm of the Institute for Energy Policy, a conservative think tank funded by Charles and David Koch. The event moderator was Tom Pyle, president of the AEA and the IEP, and a former Koch Industries lobbyist.
Much of the money the Koch family has made has been through petrochemical fuels. According to a Pro-Publica investigation in 2014, the Kochs have used a trade group known as Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce to funnel money to a long list of conservative nonprofit groups, many of which defend the fossil fuel industry against public policy initiatives favoring renewables.
Another panelist at the event was Ryan Yonk, an assistant professor at Utah State University's Institute for Political Economy, a free-market think tank that also has strong ties to the Koch brothers. Yonk co-authored a study that says the average household in North Carolina lost $3,800 in disposable income in 2013 because of the cost of the renewable energy standard.
"The folks that get hurt the most are the folks that are very least able to afford it," Yonk said.
Dustin Chicurel-Bayard with the North Carolina Sierra Club pointed out that the study, which he characterized as "misleading," has been thoroughly debunked by researchers at the American Wind Energy Association
What subsidies have the gas and oil businesses received? Do you mean "subsidies" or was there some form of tax break that you are calling a "subsidy"? I am not in favor of my tax dollars being handed to an oil company any more than I am to a solar company.
And, Dem 12...I don't know whether or not it is worth responding to your ridiculous comparision. Are you suggesting that government support of public parks and playgrounds, schools and sidewalks etc, us somehow equivalent to subsidizing a private industry?
But, to answer your question, I would rather prefer not to live near a coal burning plant OR a field of solar panels. What is your point? That government should give tax dollars to those industries that you would rather live next to? OK...I would like to live near a racetrack like at the fairgrounds. Since that is my preference, should the government now start subsidizing stock car races?
anon 10:44 Your point is well taken (at least by me)...The subsidies to "oil companies" include government funding of fuel oil to destitute families, all tax "breaks" that are available to industries (which include the oil industry) and other such government programs.
I don't know where the poster got a figure of 18 Billion dollars for oil company subsidies. Sounds extremely high compared to the other estimates which mostly range around the 4 - 4 1/2 billion dollar mark.
I guess we need to define "subsidy" then. Most of the articles I have read on this subject include tax breaks, incentives, and other deductions. I don't think we are just handing out money to ANY kind of company. Governments build roads and buy land for industrial parks to benefit private businesses, and we provide water and sewer services to benefit private businesses. In some areas, governments build stadiums to benefit private sports businesses. What's being done for solar and wind companies is no different from what's been done for other industries.
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