We have written before about how the about Obama administration’s energy policies are destroying middle class. Each day brings new evidence that Obama’s so-called energy policy is little more than a collection of subsidies for favored industries with political connections that benefit, once again, the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
A good example of Obama’s wealthy-favoring energy policy is the rooftop solar industry. This renewable energy niche has lately grown into a nice little cottage industry for wealthy Wall Street and Silicon Valley investor types who’ve figured out a way of collecting solar tax credits intended for electric utility customers while sticking the customers with part of the bill. Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research explains how this works in an article titled, “Another Tax Subsidy for the Rich“:
Net Metering is a program that allows consumers to generate energy from rooftop solar panels for their own use and to offset the cost of energy purchased from electric utilities. Because solar panels can be costly to purchase and install in homes, homeowners generally lease the cost of these solar panels and they are enticed to buy into the deal by receiving generous tax breaks. Of course, taxpayers are on the hook to cover these tax breaks.
Some states require electric utilities to buy excess solar energy from net metering consumers at or near retail prices. The problem with this idea is that when electric utilities buy this excess solar energy, it may not precisely coincide with the electric utility’s demand. This means that some of the solar energy being purchased by the utility has little or no offsetting benefit to the utility, its customers, or even the environment. Moreover, when utilities pay the retail price for solar energy they are unable to recover their full operating costs, which could affect maintenance and investment in the electric grid, and could eventually jeopardize service reliability.
In essence, this means that electric utilities are incurring added costs, which means that the utility’s customers – ratepayers – are ultimately on the hook to pay the difference. Worse, is the fact that consumers without solar panels are subsidizing consumers with solar panels. That’s right, those with less income are effectively subsidizing those with higher income.
Those folks with less income getting it coming and going. As energy gets cheaper for the well to do, who can afford things like …read more