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Fri Jun 17, 2016, 06:25 AM

U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins anti-solar crusade

http://grist.org/climate-energy/u-s-chamber-of-commerce-joins-anti-solar-crusade/?utm_content=bufferecad1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins anti-solar crusade
By Ben Adler on Jun 15, 2016


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest conservative group to start spreading anti-solar messages. In an email sent to supporters on Wednesday, the chamber attacks net metering, a policy in place in many states that pays people with solar panels on their roofs for the electricity they feed into the grid. The group also posted a video on YouTube last week making its anti-net metering case. This is fairly new territory for the chamber, according to energy regulation experts.

In its email, the group warns: “While your neighbor is receiving a credit (in the form of a reduced electricity bill) for putting excess energy back on the electricity grid, these outdated net metering policies overlook the costs to use, maintain, and update the grid. So, who is actually paying those costs? You — and everyone else!”

There is actually some truth to this. But the problem with the chamber’s analysis is that it ignores the positive effects of rooftop solar — most importantly, that it reduces the need for dirty, fossil fuel-based energy that causes air pollution and worsens climate change.

Here’s a more fair way to paint the situation: Electric utilities are using outdated technologies that poison our air and destabilize our climate. Who is actually paying for those costs? You — and everyone else!

We reported on Tuesday about the utilities’ trade association, the Edison Electric Institute, feigning concern for consumers who could be ripped off by unscrupulous solar companies. The Chamber of Commerce’s new campaign takes a different approach by heaping blame on solar consumers. But it’s all part of the same big effort by conservative groups and dirty energy companies to kneecap the solar industry, any way they can.

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Reply U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins anti-solar crusade (Original post)
babylonsister Jun 2016 OP
RedCappedBandit Jun 2016 #1
Vinca Jun 2016 #2
Dustlawyer Jun 2016 #3
marble falls Jun 2016 #4
Fritz Walter Jun 2016 #5
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2016 #6
Scientific Jun 2016 #7
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2016 #8
Scientific Jun 2016 #9
Blue State Bandit Jun 2016 #10
TheBlackAdder Jun 2016 #14
Blue State Bandit Jun 2016 #17
Odin2005 Jun 2016 #11
RoccoR5955 Jun 2016 #12
librechik Jun 2016 #13
Javaman Jun 2016 #15
Wounded Bear Jun 2016 #16
Indydem Jun 2016 #18

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 06:53 AM

1. And here I thought corporate interests didn't influence government. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:25 AM

2. I've always wondered why some enterprising business person hasn't started something like a

Directv for solar, renting solar panels and equipment on a monthly basis. It seems the Chamber of Commerce would suck right up to that enterprise if it meant the organization might get its beak wet.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:30 AM

3. Already been happening.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:42 AM

4. The real answer for the CoC's complaints would be for them to get solar panels of their own ...

Funny they complain that panel users get paid for their generating surplus, after all: fossil fuel producers get paid for their contributions to US energy production.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:55 AM

5. Am I the only one who sees the dirty hands of the fossil fuel industry in this?

In Florida, the Sunshine State, there is a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would promote solar power but -- in the same breath -- eliminate net-metering. The utility companies across the state are pouring millions of dollars into advocating a yes vote on the amendment. Where are they getting this money? From customers. And -- I'll wager my June electric bill -- from the coal and gas industries that supply fossil fuels to them.

Meanwhile, they are ignoring the latest findings that this argument is bogus. From the Washington Post on May 26:

But now, new research suggests this is an empty concern. A paper published Monday by researchers from the Brookings Institution reviews a number of studies conducted by state utility commissions, academic institutes and think tanks and suggests that rooftop solar actually benefits all consumers — whether they’re solar customers or not.


...

But the Brookings review suggests that these types of policy changes may not be warranted after all — that, rather, the benefits provided by rooftop solar actually outweigh their costs. The review points to state-commissioned studies from Vermont, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maine and even Nevada that suggest net metering results in net benefits for all energy customers.

Similar conclusions appear in several independent studies as well. The Brookings report refers to a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, for instance, that suggested that even at a significantly higher rate of solar penetration, net metering would have a modest impact on taxpayers as a whole. And several others, including a review from Environment America Research and Policy Center, suggested net benefits for all customers, whether they employed rooftop solar or not.


Here's the Brookings report.

Locally, when the municipally-owned utility company held a hearing about a management-driven policy change proposal, they brought in a spokesperson from the United Way to argue how unfair net-metering is to low-income customers. There was no mention of the various support programs in place to help these needy customers. Nor did anyone mention the California program that provides free solar panels to low-income families, using $14.7 million raised through that state's cap-and-trade system. Consequently, the United Way will never receive another dime from yours truly.

The utility board has decided to wait until the November elections to consider the policy change. This came as a surprise, because the Republican mayor replaced many of the board members with his cronies and contributors right after he took office last year.

The Chamber of Commerce is nothing but a bunch of Koch suckers!




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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:55 AM

6. They are so stupid. Ultimately shooting themselves in the foot, at least. . . . nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:57 AM

7. This is the Republican Brain on STUPID & GREEDY

STUPID GREEDY STUPID GREEDY STUPID GREEDY STUPID.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:58 AM

8. Trying to kill solar is trying to kill an industry of the future. Other countries are eating the US

Trying to kill solar is trying to kill an industry of the future. Other countries are eating the US lunch, and dinner.

Solar is coming and you can get ahead of it or lag way behind.

They call themselves business people? Very short sighted.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:58 AM

9. We need a national BOYCOTT the Chamber of Commerce crusade

...They deserve a massive public spanking for this betrayal of America.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:13 AM

10. Utilities force customers to pay up to $7k to upgrade transformers...

all the time. We did 2 last week. Their reasoning is bullshit.

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Response to Blue State Bandit (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:15 AM

14. When a transformer blows out in a storm or fails, replace it with the newer version. Done.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #14)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:40 AM

17. Not the prob. Utilities force cust. to pay for transformer upgrade to accommodate solar.

Most are beyond manufactured life-cycle, but they still get away with it. The infrastructure upgrade cost to other customers is bullshit.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:33 AM

11. Your avatar's facepalm is fitting given the stupidity of this anti-renewable BS.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:57 AM

12. Capitalist corporations are killing the planet! n/t

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:11 AM

13. G-reedy. O-ld. P-ricks. n/t

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:38 AM

15. In other news...

the U.S. chamber of commerce is staffed by morons.

that is all.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:47 AM

16. This is not really "anti-solar"...

Really, it is a fight for corporate control of the industry. They want those huge solar farms in the desert, and those long utility lines that have maintenance and upkeep costs, all ways they can pad the bottom line and suck up profits.

Rooftop, and local generation of power should be the future, not building ever larger power generation facilities of any type, that double as much as terrorist targets as they do providing power to users.

Frankly, we should probably legislate that every new building built should have capability to provide at least 25% of it's own power through solar panels and perhaps rooftop wind turbines.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:15 AM

18. A lot of ignorance here.

 

Head to the source link, and click on the "net metering" link to get a pretty decently balanced take on this.

Utility companies have bills to pay for infrastructure, future, and legacy costs (which include Union pensions for millions of retirees). They can't keep paying those who install solar panels RETAIL rates for their surplus.

You don't like it? Great. Go buy a Tesla battery pack (or 2) and disconnect yourself from the grid. Problems solved!

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