Amendment 1 rebuttal to the LoWV-PC

This is in response to a Letter in Lakeland, Fl’s The Ledger newspaper;

Let’s give the solar industry a fair shake in the Florida’s energy marketplace. On Nov. 8, vote no on Amendment 1.

Amendment 1 is supported by large utility companies who rely on fossil fuels for generating energy. Solar energy is becoming more competitive and will be a valid alternative in just a few years. It is good for the consumer and the environment.

Utility companies are threatened by solar energy because they know that solar is cheaper and is an unlimited source of energy. They also know that it is the wave of the future. Any consumer can produce their own energy.

For more information on Amendment 1, read former Republican state senator from Lakeland and State League of Women Voters member, Paula Dockery’s Sept. 25 syndicated column, “Don’t fall for utility-backed Amendment 1.”

The utilities proposed language in the amendment to make it appear that it protects consumers, when in fact it protects the power company’s monopoly. Voting for Amendment 1 will give away an important right we as consumers have to generate our own power. Remember, Floridians are already entitled to solar generation, and the solar industry already has all the same protections every other home installation products do.

Representatives from Florida’s political parties are united in opposition to Amendment 1 along with the Christian Coalition, League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club.

Don’t let the powerful few ignore the choice of the many. Exercise your democratic right: vote no on Amendment 1.

Salma Nawlo
Trudy Corry Rankin

Polk County League of Women Voters

This honestly sounds like an argument where you don’t want it because it would remove the potential of a socialistic subsidy mechanism.  If I don’t own or lease solar equipment, why should I be required to help pay for yours?  You have provided nothing more than “Big Electric is bad, don’t vote on 1” – well, how exactly is Big Electric bad?  Because they’ve increased the cost per-watt?  That’s supply and demand my dears.  That’s Capitalism at it’s finest.  We demand more electrical power, more continual up time, more stable power – and yet we expect this all to be for pennies per watt?  That is socialism, and a poor example for all.

Amendment 1 will lead to companies like TECO, FPL and Lakeland Electric to provide leased equipment to Florida residential properties to supplement their electrical production.  Do you know what that means?  That means those fossil-fuel eating machines, otherwise known as Power Plants, will be using less fuel as the distributed network of solar panels which will produce not just power for the houses they are attached to, but will feed excess back into the grid.  So how is this bad again?  Do you believe that for some reason TECO or FPL or Lakeland Electric will suddenly have that much more control over your pitiful existence? I say pitiful because your life is nothing but the blink in a century.  However, your children’s children, and their children will remain long after you and I are nothing but dust and worm food.  Don’t you at least consider the possibility that making it easier for our society to move away from fossil fuels – EVEN AT THE HANDS OF THE BIG BAD ELECTRIC COMPANIES, is a good thing for our future generation?

Of course you don’t.  Why? Because you’re stuck in your ways; you want to blame companies for your own person choices – yeah, you know, running the AC in the middle of January instead of opening the windows?  You want to blame someone else, and you want to hoot and holler about how the companies that have helped in one of the most fundamental ways the technological advancements of this planet so that when things go wrong, which is always likely, you can sit back and with a smug grin on your face say “I told you so”

Well, here’s the thing.  Without this amendment, we can sit back and wait for solar power to maybe one day catch on.  And we’ll sit there and hope that our bills don’t get jacked up because three people in the neighborhood have purchased new solar panels.  Perhaps we’ll even be lucky and won’t have to pay for our neighbor’s choices.  But it’s a possibility, and one I don’t much appreciate.  We don’t have the choice to abstain from paying, by way of fees and bill increases, for what others produce, and with Amendment 1, we will be protected from that.

However, you’re too short sighted, and I don’t blame you, to see the long haul plan, the big picture.  Amendment 1 will protect the utilities as well, and this is OK – because once they’re more protected, they’re more likely to offer solar panel leasing to commercial & residential buildings where we will not only benefit from solar power in our own businesses and homes, but also contribute to the national grid (Yes, even 1 extra watt per household in Florida will help bring down costs all across the nation – that’s one of the wonderful things about our national grid) This is Economics 100.

Perhaps before you start shouting buzzwords and propagating hate for the companies that keeps your Starbucks iced mocha cold, and your showers hot, you should do some real research and perhaps actually educate yourself regarding these things.  The real key to voting wisely is to be educated on not just the bill, but the subject for which the bill is proposing a change.  In this case; Electrical production, Utilities laws, Solar technology and legislation, and basic economics.

If after doing real research and considering the real implications (not just the short term, but long into the future as well) – if you still want to vote “No” on Amendment 1, that is your right and I applaud you for exercising that right as you see fit!  But please do so responsibly.

I have researched these subjects, and the literature of Amendment 1 to the best of my ability, however, it is still possible I missed, or misunderstood something.  I do not encourage anyone to use my word as doctrine regarding decisions that must be made by each of us.

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