Obama Comes to TUSK’s Rescue in Arizona Solar Fight
The liberal groups hiding behind TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed) have been unmasked. Those fighting progress on APS’s policy on solar subsidies, known as net metering, are not the conservatives TUSK Spokesman Barry Goldwater, Jr. would like you to believe. In reality, they are liberal, California-based solar companies with strong ties to the Obama Administration. They have already received millions of dollars in government stimulus grants and sweetheart contracts. They know their businesses rely on handouts to survive, so they want to keep the current, unfair subsidies in place.
Recently, a TUSK offshoot calling itself “TASC” (The Alliance for Solar Choice) began running commercials in the Phoenix area accusing APS of trying to “kill” Arizona solar and “tax the sun.” TASC is funded by four companies: Verengo, Sungevity, SunRun and SolarCity. These same companies, Obama’s new Solyndras, are funding TUSK’s efforts.
Yesterday, TUSK’s liberal alliances were exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt when Organizing for Action (formerly known as Obama for America), a non-profit working to support Obama’s radical agenda, came out in support of TUSK’s net metering stance. OFA has previously pushed other liberal policies, like gun control and climate change legislation, throughout the U.S.
OFA is encouraging people to contact the Arizona Corporation Commission and “fight for clean energy” by supporting the current net metering policies that force APS to pay solar customers more than three times the fair market rate for the excess energy they send back to the grid. That cost is passed on to non-solar customers, forcing them to subsidize the energy costs of customers with solar panels. Additionally, solar customers, who rely on the electric grid when the sun isn’t shining, do not pay for their use of the grid – another cost that gets passed on to non-solar customers.
Last July, USA Today published a story about OFA’s role in aggressively pushing costly climate change policies across the country. The article questioned the appropriateness of an organization so closely linked to a sitting president weighing in on these issues.
“You can say that developing clean energy is great, but do competitors feel the weight of the presidency being used to undermine their business model?” she said. “It raises questions about the ethical propriety of the use of the president’s bully pulpit.”
As USA Today pointed out, OFA’s energy activism comes at a time when the president is pursuing a backdoor plan to circumvent Congress and use his executive powers to impose new limits on carbon-dioxide emissions. When Congress failed to pass cap and trade legislation in 2009, President Obama famously remarked that there was “more than one way to skin a cat.” We all knew what he meant – he wants to bypass Congress and use the regulatory process to subvert the constitution. It appears the president has expanded the playing field, and is now engaging in regulatory battles across the country – including right here in Arizona.
Don’t be fooled by groups that wrap themselves in conservative imagery and famous conservative names. President Obama, TUSK, and their liberal agenda are here in Arizona fighting to protect the unfair, anti-free-market net-metering policies.
Arizona conservatives and the Arizona Corporation Commission have a chance to stand up the president and his liberal allies by making net metering fair for all Arizonans, not just the ones who can afford costly solar panels. That’s what the free market dictates, and what a true conservative would support.