Thanks to Seth Handy for helping us post blogs while we are traveling. This is very encouraging news. Welcome to the Green Team all you conservatives who will now help with the fight for a cleaner, brighter future.
"The year 2013 will be remembered as the year that utilities in the United
States crossed the Rubicon of renewable energy. At first glance you might think
this is a purely partisan matter, one of liberals and conservatives scoring
points off each other; however, it is actually the result of our republican
(with a small ‘r’) form of government, wherein the profound wisdom of our
founding fathers once again proves its worth. Frankly, what has happened should
make each and every American proud.
Here’s what’s going on, and it’s quintessentially an American
No matter what our illustrious Congress desires or attempts, and regardless
what our current President intends, at the end of every American day, the sun
sets on 50 states and a handful of territories that are free and independent
governments. Thus, even though we have a federal tax code, a FERC, and an EPA,
it is still at the state level that the majority of business gets done. It is
at the state level where new business is created and new technology is put into
play. It’s also where power-plants are built and operated. Like it or not, most
U.S. electrical generation is a state-level activity. That’s where the money is
spent and where jobs are created.
So unless the federal government, executive, legislative or judicial branch
outright makes illegal some commercial activity, the states are going to do what
they think is good for that state.
And lo and behold, the states have decided renewable energy is
Hence, despite what the last presidential election rhetoric sounded like, and
despite what the current Congress is saying about renewable energy, the simple
economics of wind, solar and other clean technology speaks for itself. Thus, in
a free-market capitalist nation like America, we are seeing more and more
states, businesses, and Americans freely choosing renewable energy.
A growing number of American utilities are facilitating this progress at the
state level because it’s what the citizens, voters and taxpayers in those states
have decided is best for them, their state and their country. No one is
threatening to secede from the United State over renewable energy. Rather, we
engaged in expanding renewable energy resources because it is the
American thing to do.
Therefore, despite the continuing gridlock in Congress, the states are mostly
exercising their liberty and moving ahead with their own renewable energy
build-out, not so much as part of a larger transition away from coal to natural
gas, but to diversify the energy sector and enhance local and national
The examples are truly indicative of Americans doing what we do best; namely,
the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
Even more interestingly, despite the continued Congressional opposition to
wind and solar, mainly on the Republican side of the House of Representatives, a
growing number of Republican states are acting independently and ignoring
Congressional Republicans who have forgotten to look and see what’s happening at
home. Many current, substantial, and compelling examples abound.
For example Georgia, a bastion of traditionally ultra-conservative ideology
with a near super-majority of Republicans in its state government, just saw all
five of its statewide elected, conservative Republican Public Service
Commissioners vote unanimously in favor of allowing Georgia Power, the nation’s
largest public utility, to purchase 210 MW of solar energy. And then just eight
months after that vote, they ordered GA Power to add another 525 MW, as a hedge
against fuel and regulatory risk in order to protect the state and its economy
Just prior to that move in Georgia, another ultra-conservative state, North
Carolina, defeated a conservative-led attempt to repeal its Renewable Portfolio
Standard (RPS). That defeat was followed by the Governor of North Carolina
declaring June 2013 as “Solar Energy Month”. All that occurring with that
state’s largest utility, Duke, supporting the continuation of the RPS.
Many Republican states, are doing exactly the opposite of what the Republican
Party in the House of Representatives in Congress claims to stand against.
Legislators at the State level are actively and aggressively working toward
nonpartisan solutions to move into the 21st Century in a way that’s
best for Americans. These are bold, intelligent, and careful moves that make
America better, stronger, leaner, cleaner and ready for a better and brighter
future using more and more wind and solar. As it stands today, the state of our
union, although in a state of perpetual gridlock at the Congressional level, is
doing pretty darn well at the state level in the area of renewable energy. It is
clearly the states that are leading the charge on the renewable energy front.
And that’s the way it should be.
Just as it was the morals, values and concerns for the individual that
informed our founding fathers and guided their political compass toward a
republican form of government for the United States, so it is that we are now
seeing the states inform our Congress, our Judiciary and our President on how to
proceed with renewable energy. If only Congress would see and listen.U.S. utilities are already in the game. They understand it can work, and
they know they can make it work. While many may have been slow to start, they
are speeding up. We are seeing that every day American utilities are
increasingly becoming part of the solution rather than the problem. This is,
again, due in large part to the fact that utilities operate at the state level,
where they are still accountable to local folks — the people that they must
In the end, despite the detour from rationality that the most recent national
election cycle took, and despite the detour that Congress is currently still on,
the renewable energy industry in America is actually back on track. Most
particularly, the states are back on track. Once Congress gets on board with
the states and supports the utilities in their combined effort to improve our
energy infrastructure with wind and solar, our democracy will once again prove
itself to be the closest thing to divine action mere mortals could ever
conceive, just as our founding fathers envisioned."