Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Koch brothers & Warren Buffet 1, Harry Reid 0

Solar blowback hits Reid's Nevada: Profit mongering makes strange bedfellows

The Nevada ruling is the latest skirmish in a nationwide green energy battle that pits the Senate Democratic leader against the Kochs.

By Esther Whieldon, Politico
12/22/15 06:14 PM EST

Harry Reid’s home state dealt a lethal blow Tuesday to rooftop solar power — the latest skirmish of a nationwide green energy battle that has pitted the Senate Democratic leader against his favorite target, the Koch brothers.

The move by Nevada’s utility regulator, which voted to slash the economic incentives for homeowners to install solar panels, was most immediately a showdown between billionaires Warren Buffett, owner of the state’s largest power company, and Elon Musk, whose SolarCity is the nation’s largest installer of panels that create electricity from the sun. But it also served as a proxy fight in a national struggle about states’ green energy programs, in which free-market groups backed by industrialists Charles and David Koch have fought to roll back incentives that they argue distort the marketplace and force some customers to subsidize other people’s power choices.

The Kochs’ advocacy groups didn’t directly enter the fight in Nevada, although they have campaigned in states such as neighboring Arizona to cut back programs that allow solar-owning residents to sell their excess power back to the electric grid. And Reid has singled out the Kochs’ opposition to solar incentives as part of his litany of complaints about the billionaire brothers, whom he has accused of “trying to buy the country” to promote their pro-fossil-fuel, anti-regulation agenda.

“The Koch brothers are worth more than 135 million Americans combined," Reid told the Las Vegas Sun in August. “Why are they interested in stopping rooftop solar? It hurts their bottom line.”

(Read more here.)

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