This week Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore were on hand in Florida campaigning at Miami-Dade College where they discussed solar power, climate change and Florida’s Amendment 1, which will be on the ballot this November. The controversial measure, which would increase the amount of solar in the state, is backed by utilities, but deplored by the solar industry and others.
Clinton tied the damages of Hurricane Matthew to climate change. “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change..…As you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like Hurricane Matthew. It’s become a daily reality here in Miami.”
She used that to reiterate her support for renewable energy. “As president I want us to have 500 million more solar panels installed across America by the end of my first term,” she stated. “And let’s generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within the decade.”
“We can transform our economy. We can rally the world to cut carbon emission, and above all, we can fulfill our moral obligation to protect our planet for our children and our grandchildren,” Clinton said.
At the rally, Gore spoke out about against Florida’s Amendment 1. "They are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony-baloney initiative that sounds like it protects solar," Gore said. "It doesn't protect solar.”
It’s clear that Floridians want more solar in their state. Earlier this year they overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4, which ended tax liabilities for home and business solar installations. The measure passed with 73 approval. The new measure is more controversial.
While the amendment would allow residents to own or lease solar devices it would prohibit utility customers without solar from subsidizing those with solar. Such a policy would effectively kill net-metering in the state, under which utilities pay or reimburse customers with solar power for the energy they put back on the grid. As such, all customers end up paying very small amounts to help support rooftop solar.
Politico reported that Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Gulf Power have spearheaded the campaign with $16.5 million in support, the majority of the more than $21 million it’s raised.
Gore observed that the amendment would kill net metering in the state. "Our democracy has been hacked," he said. Utilities have spent “more than $20 million to pull the wool over your eyes—and $20 million may buy a lot of wool.”Tweet