Monday, November 23, 2015

Florida's Thieves Hell-Bent On Stealing State's Solar Future: Story of the Year ... by gimleteye

Whatever political party and candidates one favors, it is possible for all Floridians to agree that the best chance for independence in an age of climate change is diversified choice on solar power.

There is no need to review the pitiful history why the Sunshine State is a laggard in solar at the level of consumers and business. There is a need, however, to understand why the largest corporations in the state are hell-bent on preventing taxpayers from using solar power independently.

Thanks to their fear that someday citizens of Florida would wake up and take control of their energy destiny, the state's largest utilities and special interests conspired to pass a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority vote, 60 percent, of the electorate to change the constitution (where "wise" state legislators only need 50 percent, of course).

As a result, leaving aside the presidential vote in 2016, the most important issue before Florida voters is a solar power amendment to the constitution that would ensure citizens and not large utilities will have a stable energy future in an age of climate change.

As might be expected, the forces of darkness are spending tens of millions of dollars to overwhelm the forces of light. Their aim is to confuse ALL voters in Florida with a sham amendment, Consumers for Smart Solar, and their puppets in Tallahassee -- the Rick Scott administration -- are spending loads of taxpayer money to thwart the will of taxpayers.

Remember, "Fair Districts" and "Amendment 1"? Both passed overwhelming at the ballot box by more than 60 percent of voters? Well, the goal of the black hats is to deny and obscure; to defeat the real pro-solar choice by confusing voters, qualifying their sham amendment through the Florida Supreme Court (not yet!) and collecting signatures for their sham petition.

The real grass roots effort for solar is being run by Floridians for Solar Choice.
WHAT IS THE SOLAR BALLOT INITIATIVE? A broad coalition of businesses, conservatives and environmental organizations is working to place a question on the 2016 general election ballot asking voters to decide on expanding solar choice to Florida’s families and businesses. The ballot initiative would remove a barrier that currently blocks clean, renewable solar power.

HOW DOES IT REMOVE A BARRIER TO SOLAR POWER? Florida is one of only four states that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from anyone other than a utility, along with North Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma (Georgia’s Governor Deal signed a third-party solar bill into law in May 2015 but this map hasn’t yet been updated to reflect that change). This prohibition limits customer choice and blocks the growth of this abundant, clean homegrown energy source. The petition, if passed, will expand solar choice by allowing all customers the option to power their homes or businesses with solar power and who provides it to them.

Get the facts here about the real choice for solar in Florida, not the sham, shady move by the utilities.

And if you want to learn the facts of who is pulling the strings of that sham, shady move, read the excellent report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR).
BIG ENERGY POURS $1.9 MILLION INTO ANTI-SOLAR GROUP, November 16, 2015 By Trevor Aronson, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Utility companies operating in Florida have donated more than $1.9 million to the misleadingly named Consumers for Smart Solar, a political action committee set up to oppose a ballot initiative that would allow for third-party sales of rooftop solar energy.

According to a tally of campaign contributions by the Energy and Policy Institute and the Center for Media and Democracy, organizations that promote adoption of solar energy, Florida Power and Light — which provides power service to nearly half the state — has given $595,000 to the PAC. Tampa Electric Company has kicked in $556,000, Duke Energy $355,000, Gulf Power Company $380,000, and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative $30,000.


Anonymous said...

Fall in Miami has arrived (a month or two late thanks to climate change.) I love the fresh cool air and that FPL is finally not getting my money to power my air conditioner. Florida needs "solar choice." FPL failed to deliver on utility scale solar. We have 1/2 of a percent solar in this state. Now it's the people's turn to act. FPL, if you want solar so bad just build it, but don't block others from getting the job done.

Anonymous said...

Simple, just tell everybody to avoid SMART ASS SOLAR, they remember that at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

FPL and the other big power companies have formed an unholy alliance with Koch Bros-funded front groups to bankroll and beat back rooftop solar in the Sunshine State.

It's shameful. They are on the wrong side of history.

Sign the real solar petition at

Anonymous said...

I work for FPL, so obviously there is a conflict of interest. That said, the "public" would be furious if they knew the amount of wa$te this company enforces under the guise of "Capital Investments". Yes it is a public utility, but really the public has no idea of what goes on. This corporate driven excess is the basis of their rate case, ie. let's raise the rates on our captive customers (who don't have choice anyway) to increase revenues,while crying foul saying it's to cover the cost of doing business. Remember the scrutiny big auto came under during the recession for the need for private aircraft? FPL owns a half dozen mix of jets and heli's for example, to ferry their big wigs around. Necessary? You decide.
Now I easily make a 6 figure salary from them, highly disproportionate to the actual "work" performed. I guess that makes me one of the bad guys, but I have a family to feed too.
On the solar front, WHEN the laws change, either by public vote or federal mandate, AND when equipment prices fall to the point of being the obvious economic choice for the average homeowner/business, this company will be forced to fundamentally adapt/change or cease to exist (a little extreme but you get the idea) . It may or may not begin in election year '16, but it sure as hell has begun (sadly, realShamSolar is about to overtake Choice in verified count).
I filled out a Solar Choice ballot but decided to not submit it. I came to the conclusion that I'd be signing the acceleration of my layoff,hence the conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

Isn't capitalism great, whose bread I eat, whose song I sing.
Worked in the thirty's, still works today.

There is really nothing to be afraid of the future. The base load will still be supplied by big utility's for quite some time, plus the revamped distribution grid, necessary for solar to be efficient, will somehow be paid for too.

It's like global warming, the sooner you adapt, the easier the transition.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!! Here is to you FPL whistleblower!!

'Free markets' means Crony Capitalism to GOP and Koch Bros..

Anonymous said...

The problem with green NGOs taking brown money is that it allows brown money to launder it green, while making it possible for the source to distract the public from its ongoing brown activities and corrupting the green institutions. It is an extremely efficient form of green sabotage. Whether this has crossed over the line from conflict of interest to corruption should be the subject of further inquiry.