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Kochs and Walmart Fight to Stop Solar Panels

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+37 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:45 PM
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Solar energy is cutting into energy profits - so led by the Koch brothers and Walmart's Walton family, the industry is fighting back. The way it works, the Koch/Walton lobbyists get states to charge monthly fees (taxes) to people who instal solar panels on their homes. [Huh?]

Go figure. But the scam's working. People are afraid their clean energy taxes will go up, so they're not so eager to go green anymore.


Kochs and Walmart Clan Wage Dirty War to Stop You From Putting Solar Panels on Your Home

A new rooftop solar system is installed every three minutes in the U.S., up from one every 80 minutes just eight short years ago. If this pace continues to accelerate or even just holds steady, it will not be long before solar panels become visible, if not ubiquitous, in many neighborhoods nationwide.

That prospect is enough to upset the Koch brothers, the heirs of the Walmart fortune and the utility industry, all which are trying to stamp out the rooftop solar movement or at least make a tidy profit penalizing the people who use it. With the help of powerful lobbyists and PACs like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity, they are set to do battle in statehouses across the nation in 2015.

ALEC, which receives much of its funding from the utility industry and fossil-fuel investors like the Kochs, has long been an opponent of renewable energy and the Obama administration’s effort to reduce carbon emissions. It's working with conservative activists and corporate interests to fight homeowners who are installing solar panels on their roofs. Calling people who install rooftop solar panel “freeriders,” another word for freeloaders, the pro-corporate group is actively promoting legislation in states to charge fees, even exorbitant ones, for rooftop solar installations.


Here's a good explanation of the "threat":


Why are conservative luminaries, corporate lobbyists, and the power companies pushing so hard against the little guy trying to save a few bucks while helping the planet? Because even though solar energy still only accounts for 0.23 percent of the nation’s electricity today, rooftop solar is a real threat to the very existence of utilities in the near future.

For utilities, the most immediate cause for concern is net metering policies in many states, which allow homeowners and businesses to sell back any excess electricity they create with their solar panels. The surplus electricity goes back into the power grid and is sold to other consumers at low rates, often lower than what the utilities charge for electricity themselves. John Eick told the Guardian that ALEC is worried about how individual homeowners are being compensated for feeding electricity back into the system. He said ALEC wants to reduce the rate homeowners are paid for direct power generation and perhaps even penalize homeowners for selling electricity back to the grid.


More:



No matter how you slice it, rooftop solar power creates uncertainty for the prototypical utility, mass energy provider and the corporations that build and provide resources to these facilities. And uncertainty is something corporations and their investors do not like.

So, if you’re the CEO of a large energy utility owner like Duke Energy, or you’re the Kochs, the Waltons or any other person or institution heavily vested in energy, you’ve got millions, if not billions, of reasons to circumvent and gut the competition. And because your chief rival is not another corporation, but millions of individual homeowners and businesses, you can’t buy them out directly, so you buy out their government representatives. In this era of Citizens United, nothing is stopping you from dispatching swarms of lobbyists to butter up or even threaten politicians to do your bidding. In 2015, this is the American way.



+12 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:54 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


Exactly.


+13 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:57 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Yeah, it worked here in Arizona. In the sate with the most sun, beginning soon there will be a annual tax on home solar panels. Their astro-turf efforts were very aggressive.


+27 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


True.
But it is the Lobbyists who bribe the Elected Representatives with campaign donations.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 05:59 PM
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+2 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:00 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


Lobbyists are just Representatives on the other side of the cycle.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:00 PM
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I think there's enough blame to go around. Let's not quibble over who is most at fault. They're all at fault for this to play out.

S + F


+10 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

Because it's the corporate lobbyists that pressure the elected officials and even sometimes threaten to remove existing agreements to get the officials to go along with their agenda. Lobbyists have no place in Washington as far as I'm concerned.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:05 PM
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originally posted by: RedmoonMWC

originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


True.
But it is the Lobbyists who bribe the Elected Representatives with campaign donations.


Then blame the voters.

The point being it's nothing but a feel good, ad hominem attack on Walmart and the Koch brothers to demonize them. They don't vote, and they don't accept the campaign money.

So what? Demonize the lobbyist. Then ask the politicians getting paid by the lobbyist to pass laws preventing them from taking campaign money. And by the way, they're not bribes. The ex-Governor in Virginia just got sentenced for accepting what where basically bribes.

The responsibility is squarely on the shoulders of the voters. If they're so apathetic and ignorant to vote based on party every election, and are swayed by 30 second commercials and yard signs, that's their own doing.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:06 PM
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Meh if you have the money to waste on a solar system you have money to spend on a tax.

Those systems cost more they they ever save as it is. Once those costs come down a lot, and the efficiency increases to the point it makes it worth using, I will hop on that bandwagon, until then it is just a move people do so they can say they are green and saving the planet.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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originally posted by: SpaDe_
a reply to: Jamie1

Because it's the corporate lobbyists that pressure the elected officials and even sometimes threaten to remove existing agreements to get the officials to go along with their agenda. Lobbyists have no place in Washington as far as I'm concerned.



Then it's the ignorance of the voters who put incompetent and unethical politicians into office.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


When a consumer buys from a corporation and trashes the planet, we blame the consumer for keeping the companies in business that do it.

Politicians sell influence and the consumers of that influence (lobbyists) are to blame.

Politicians don't read most of the bills nor create them. Lobbyists do.
They have to pass the bills to see what is in them because they have already been bought and paid for.



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:08 PM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
a reply to: soficrow

Yeah, it worked here in Arizona. In the sate with the most sun, beginning soon there will be a annual tax on home solar panels. Their astro-turf efforts were very aggressive.


What's the elevator pitch to justify the taxes? I



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: Azdraik

You do realize without demand there is little R & D to push that innovation in the sector, right? So no, it's not just something people do to feel green, they're playing their part in a process that takes a while to really kick off.

Grid parity is a reality in some parts of the US and some whole nations around the world right now, and will spread to more areas rather rapidly over the next decade.


+1 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

Because lobbyists pay off elected officials and everyone but you knows it. The elected officials who have a great deal of tenure are not to be trusted. Go to the right places and you can see for yourself that they leave office MUCH richer then when they first got to Washington. Book deals, good stock investments and investment plans only explain so much.

Wally pays the lobbyists who pay the representatives in areas where solar power is a viable option. The paper trail is muddy beyond recognition, but the end result of higher taxes is as plain as the sun in Phoenix.

There are obstacles that they can't seem to get around though. Schools use the panels as large carports for staff and students, and home builders who are responsible for entire neighborhoods install them when they build the homes.


+18 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

So when a Super PAC sponsored by Wal-Mart goes to elected officials in Washington and say if you vote for X-bill we will contribute $X million to your next campaign, that isn't a bribe?


Bribe

brīb/

verb

1. persuade (someone) to act in one's favor, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement.


Pretty sure that's a bribe.....

The blame is placed where it should be.
edit on 1/7/2015 by SpaDe_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: SpaDe_
a reply to: Jamie1

Because it's the corporate lobbyists that pressure the elected officials and even sometimes threaten to remove existing agreements to get the officials to go along with their agenda. Lobbyists have no place in Washington as far as I'm concerned.



Then it's the ignorance of the voters who put incompetent and unethical politicians into office.




How it works is the Big Money spenders put their chosen ones in the media for the voters to select from.

What your saying is that we need to agree that the problem is not to pick the selections the Big Money Backers make, correct?

www.opensecrets.org...

Top Contributors to Obama

Goldman Sachs $1,034,615
JPMorgan Chase & Co $847,895
Citigroup Inc $755,057
US Government $638,335
Skadden, Arps et al $554,439
US Dept of Justice $540,636
IBM Corp $534,470
UBS AG $534,166
General Electric $532,031
Morgan Stanley $528,182



www.opensecrets.org...

Top Contributors to Romney

Goldman Sachs $1,033,204
Bank of America $1,013,402
Morgan Stanley $911,305
JPMorgan Chase & Co $834,096
Wells Fargo $677,076
Credit Suisse Group $643,120
Citigroup Inc $511,199
Barclays $446,000
General Electric $332,875



posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: soficrow

Lobbyist don't pass laws.

Elected representatives do.

Why not blame them?


We're way past blame. I think it's time we hang a few of them.

Or we could get the money out of politics all together and it would solve most other problems too including this one. Once there isn't bribe money to be had the criminals would have to infiltrate some other organization rather than government. (Ya, I know. But a man can dream can't he???)


+5 more 
posted on Jan, 7 2015 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

The voters are generally presented with two options, both of which will play ball in this situation or it will end their political career. The blame lies with the corporate lobbyist. Remove them from the equation, and it becomes a non issue.



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