Letter: The real price of the net metering veto

Published: 1/14/2020 12:01:59 AM
Modified: 1/14/2020 12:01:13 AM

The governor’s veto of House Bill 365 (expanding net metering) last year represents one of the most regrettable actions of his administration.

His justification was that the bill, which he called a subsidy, would cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” in higher electric bills and, “We should not force our ratepayers to massively subsidize those who can afford to construct 40-acre solar farms.”

If the governor is against subsidies for energy companies, is he aware that in the United States the $740 billion in both direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industries last year is more than the country spent on defense? Is he aware that these subsidies were nearly 10 times what Congress spent on education ($59 billion – a 12% decrease over 2018)? Broken down to an individual level, fossil fuel subsidies cost every man, woman and child in the United States $2,028 a year (Forbes, Dec. 6, 2019).

Surely the governor was aware that transitioning to clean energy would help lower the cost of health impacts from fossil fuel electricity, estimated to conservatively range from $361.7 billion to $886.5 billion annually.

One would like to think that our governor is well informed, that he does care about where our tax dollars go and the health impacts of those decisions. He must surely believe that a level playing field for businesses brings out the best in our form of government.



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