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Koch Brothers Link Solar to Obamacare

The New York Times Editorial Board writes about the latest Koch Brothers initiative.

“For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive.”

The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses … Given new regulations on power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants, and the urgent need to reduce global warming emissions, the future clearly lies with renewable energy.  

A benefit to customers, but not to utilities, “currently, 43 states require utilities to buy excess power generated by consumers with solar arrays,” a practice known as net metering.  

A “Koch ad likens the renewable-energy requirement to health care reform, the ultimate insult in that world. ‘Like Obamacare, it’s another government mandate we can’t afford,’ the narrator says.”  

Crossposted at Wonk Wire.

Topics: wonk-wire