Conservative Groups in Florida Back Community Energy!
Who would have thought that a group with “Tea Party” in the name would be among those backing an effort to make solar energy more accessible?
According to Climate Progress (an outlet of the progressive Center for American Progress), the Tea Party Network is among the diverse groups supporting the "pro-solar conservative Floridians for Solar Choice" in seeking a ballot initiative that would allow Florida consumers to purchase solar power directly from each other.
The Tampa Bay Times explains that the initiative would permit “business or property owners to produce up to two megawatts of solar power and sell it directly to others, such as tenants, without having to go through a utility.”
Additional supporters of the measure include the Solar Energy Industries Association, Sierra Club, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Christian Coalition, Greenpeace, the Florida Retail Federation and Physicians for Social Responsibility, according to the two news outlets.
They report that Floridians for Solar Choice has obtained sufficient signatures to allow the Florida Supreme Court to review the petition and determine if its language legally qualifies it to be a 2016 ballot initiative. But a hurdle remains: The group must secure 683,149 signatures from at least seven congressional districts by February 1 to get on the ballot.
The proposed ballot initiative summary states that it “Limits or prevents government and electric utility imposed barriers to supplying local solar electricity” such as “government regulation of local solar electricity suppliers’ rates, service and territory, and unfavorable electric utility rates, charges, or terms of service imposed on local solar electricity customers.”