Utility Lobby Fails in Florida: Trojan Horse Solar Amendment Defeated

by David Grasso, GenFKD

The news is in: utility lobby fails in Florida, and it’s a welcomed development for the pro-solar crowd.

Constitutional amendments in Florida require 60 percent of the vote, and in this case, only about half of voters approved the solar amendment, also known as Amendment 1. The amendment’s failure, seen by many as a decisive victory for grassroots efforts over industry interests, could solidify a thriving solar industry in the sunshine state.

A brief history of Amendment 1

It appears to be Floridian tradition to have many intentionally confusing amendments on the ballot, and the solar amendment was just the latest whopper for Floridian voters. On the surface, Amendment 1 appeared to be pro-solar, but upon closer inspection, it was actually a trojan horse for solar advocates. Most Florida papers spent a great deal of time pointing out on their editorial pages that Amendment 1 was a con job masquerading as a pro-solar initiative.

Solar advocates naturally saw Florida as a place that’s ripe for alternative energy given its year around sunniness. Because of the upfront costs of getting people to put solar panels on their own homes, the pro-solar lobby wanted government subsidies to help consumers. To make sure that this became a reality, the solar advocates needed a favorable amendment on the ballot that would enshrine a list of solar rights.

Recognizing this danger, the utility lobby pre-empted them and got their confusing version of solar amendment on the ballot, beating the solar lobby to the punch.

Utility Lobby Agenda

Solar has been growing in popularity all over the world, and utility companies are rightly concerned that this is damaging to their bottom lines. Power providers often don’t have a substantial profit margin, but are wholly responsible for..

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