Home editor's blog on sun & fossil fuels

Politics of sun & fossil fuels

picture of oil rig with pic of sunset superimposed on right sideEnergy is an inherently political topic. In the “On Sun and Fossil Fuels” blog section, I’ll focus in particular on the often highly-charged politics of sun (and renewable energy) and fossil fuels. Thanks in large part to the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States there is far more political momentum behind the “greening” of America and its economy than in the days of “W”. I hope to help build this momentum, if perhaps in a small way, through my “On Sun and Fossil Fuels” blogging entries.

Getting conservatives to support EV + PV

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[ABOVE] The link and picture from a story about how national parks are adding EV charging stations posted by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society that came through my Facebook feed recently.

editors-blog-entry3First, I want to say I know there are quite a few conservatives and right-leaning libertarians who drive electric cars and many who power/fuel their EVs with home solar. They are tapping into the great joy and independence and freedom of solar-charged driving, with independence and freedom being values often associated with political conservativism.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of conservatives who are downright anti-electric vehicle and downright anti-solar. And the sad thing is, I think too many, maybe most of these people, are anti-EV and anti-solar simply because they view electric cars and solar as being somehow "liberal".

In other words, they're not against electric vehicles and solar, and solar-charged driving because they're inherently against EVs, PV and the independence that EV + PV delivers. They're against them simply because "liberals" are for these things.

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Why are some libertarians so anti EV+PV?

subsidies-solar-vs-ffeditors-blog-entry3Amazing how many people are (willfully?) ignorant about the billions in tax breaks fossil fuels and Big Oil get. And I'm supposed to feel bad because I've gone solar and drive a solar-charged EV? Gimme a break...

See the comment stream below this Grist.Org article -- 'Now is the time to invest in solar, because people are stupid' -- for more of the anti-EV, pro- Big Oil position (I use the handle cbdh19 in case you want to help support me. Sadly this position is espoused by self-declared right wing libertarians who, in theory, should be for the fueling independence that solar-charged driving delivers. In fact, a lot of right wing libertarians are EV + PV, but it seems like a lot more are inexplicably against EV + PV and for the Big Utility and Big Oil model.

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An open letter to the pro Big Utility hypocrites

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In contrast to what the pro Big Utility folks claim, home solar PROMOTES free-marketism by creating the first EVER competition for monopolistic electric utilities. We home solar owners are happy to pay a FAIR AND REASONABLE amount to to use the grid -- as long as the same guy who owns the grid is NOT the same guy with a monopoly on electic power production, a situation which represents a blatant conflict of interest.

editors-blog-entry3I've totally had it with the hypocritical people out there who allegedly support free-marketism and consumer choice, and who then slam home solar and net metering and people with home solar as free loaders and anti-free-marketers.

Come again?

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Utilities shouldn't control production & the grid

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While utilities in some places are burning less coal, this is mostly because the voters in states like Colorado forced them to do so.

editors-blog-entry3It's pretty clear what the problem is with the Big Utility Model in the United States, where utilities are trying to throttle down on homeowners' right to generate their own (solar) electricity by pushing back against net metering -->

The same guys who produce the electricity ALSO own the distribution network over which that electricity runs. That's gotta change -- yesterday!

When the same entity owns the means of production AND distribution, it can clamp down/shut down the network to stifle competitors. 

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