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Tea party on energy: Should we depend on the sun or the Koch brothers?

There’s an interesting Tea Party spat happening in Georgia over what sources of energy the state should consume.

solar panels
Tea Party folks seem to understand that there’s no way the private market is going to achieve significant gains in solar production without mandates.

There’s an interesting Tea Party spat happening in Georgia over what sources of energy the state should consume. One faction seems to support increasing the state’s energy independence by increasing the percentage of solar energy produced and consumed. The other wing is funded by the Koch Brothers, whose financial interest is tied to importing and refining dirty fuels in Georgia:

Debbie Dooley, national coordinator of the Patriots, was one of dozens of people testifying during a multi-month commission hearing on the plan. She favors increased use of solar, in particular a request by the start-up Georgia Solar Utilities.

The newcomer wants a contract to supply all of Georgia Power’s solar energy and has offered to rebate its profits to individual customers.

“What we’re looking at is a plan that guarantees there would be no upward pressure on rates,” she said.

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What’s interesting about this is that Tea Party folks seem to understand that there’s no way the private market is going to achieve significant gains in solar production without mandates. (Frankly, doubling solar production in 20 years isn’t exactly an ambitious goal but it’s better than nothing.)

What are the Koch brothers supposed to do when a company is willing to provide solar energy as a coop (rebating profits)? They shouldn’t have to compete against cleaner energy sources run by people who aren’t interested in becoming billionaires. That’s unfair competition requiring a misinformation campaign to lock in government mandates that favor burning stuff that another generation of Georgia’s kids will be forced to breath.

This post was written by Ed Kohler and originally published on The Deets. Follow Ed on Twitter: @edkohler

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