The solar industry and all of its advocates brought their solar circus from the West Coast to Baton Rouge ahead of today’s Public Service Commission meeting. They held a
big party Energy Security Summit at the U.S.S. Kidd. There Big Solar, the Alliance for Affordable Energy*, Conservatives For Energy Freedom, and T.U.S.K, which is Barry Goldwater Jr.’s West Coast-based outfit tried to sell people on how rooftop solar would make America more energy independent and secure or something.
Here are five things that The Hayride learned from this gathering.
1) The cost of the event itself probably could’ve installed solar on several houses
The backers of this “Energy Security Summit” sent out press releases, rented a venue at the U.S.S. Kidd, bused in people from New Orleans, and bought radio ads to promote it. Guess how many actually showed up? A grand total of 37 people. It’s even more embarrassing when you break that 37 down. Two, including myself, were from the media. 60 Plus had a staffer and three members there. When you take out staffers from Big Solar and the advocacy groups, only 5 actually showed up.
This has to be considered a failure.
2) Instead of an “energy security” event, this event should’ve been labeled a “we hate utilities” event.
One of the the tactics of Big Solar is to paint this as a utilities vs the little guys struggle. It’s not that simple as we’ll show a little bit later.
Speaker after speaker railed against the utilities saying they were standing in the way of solar. Basically, the utilites want to kill solar, protect their profits, and sap our precious bodily fluids.
3) The face of the Tea Party, which stands for fiscal responsibility, at the event is a woman who doesn’t pay her bills.
The head of Conservatives for Energy Freedom is a woman by the name of Debbie Dooley. She claims to be one of the founders of the tea party movement. She also formed an organization called the Green Tea Party, which became the organization she now represents.
We here at The Hayride know that many in what’s left of the Tea Party movement are “gra$$roots conservative activists” who aren’t really interested in advancing conservatism as much as getting paid. Look at the proliferation of Tea Party scam PACs over the past few years for example.
Dooley has had some financial issues in the past. For example, earlier this year she was hit with a judgement for an unpaid hotel bill worth $17,000. It’s nice of the solar industry to help out Dooley through these difficult times.
4) Lots of talk of how rooftop solar was necessary in case of power outages. However, there’s one major problem with that.
Many of these newly minted “energy security experts” claimed that rooftop solar can keep the lights on in the event of a nationwide power outage. However, that’s simply not true. The technology is simply not keeping up with the promises of Big Solar.
5) Lots of rhetoric about deregulation, however the only solution being pushed is more subsidies for Big Solar.
Speaker after speaker talked about how they hated energy subsidies. However, instead of pushing deregulation they were pushing more subsidies for Big Solar.
They were specifically looking to lift the cap the PSC placed on the amount of electricity solar panel owners and lessees could sell back to the grid. The cap wasn’t put in place to benefit Energy Louisiana or CLECO, who are the two major investor owned utilites. It was put in to protect the co-ops who serve most of rural Louisiana.
They were also looking to keep in place the current net metering laws which require utilities to buy solar power at retail. Try baking cookies and selling them to Rouses at retail and see what happens.
The real reason why energy deregulation won’t come to Louisiana anytime soon is that we already have among the lowest energy prices in the country. There’s no demand to change that.
Bonus: 6) No talk at all about consumer protections
Big Solar is already developing a shady reputation. In Arizona, a judge has voided numerous leases after the owner of a solar leasing company went to prison for fraud. Late last year, a lawsuit was filed against Sader Power for fraud. Sader has been investigation from the state for numerous complaints. PosiGen is facing $1 million worth of claims from the Feds and a former employee. PosiGen is being sued in Orleans Parish Civil District Court for false advertising.
Fraud is rampant in this industry. Instead of working with consumer advocates to develop consumer protections, Big Solar has fought to protect its corrupt practices.
Big Solar plans on packing the PSC meeting today to force their agenda on them. That’s bad news for the birds of Louisiana who have to fly over the rooftop solar panels. It’s also bad news for Louisiana’s consumers and ratepayers who will be asked to subsidize the energy preferences of upper middle class and the rich.
*Author’s note: the Alliance for Affordable Energy doesn’t actually support affordable energy. The Soros-funded organization just call themselves that.