Yep. THAT is the main argument being pushed by Rep. Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston, Cleveland), one of several GOP legislators IDed by Civitas for being a little too cozy with left-wing environmental interests.
Hastings was part of a group that helped kill an effort led by Rep. Chris Millis to sunset the power-bill-inflating renewable energy mandates. It’s pretty clear that Hastings has been catching pure hell about that on social media.
Hastings has attacked the Millis bill as “too liberal” and a “tax increase.” For those of you who don’t know, Millis is arguably one of the most consistent conservative voices in the state House. Trying to label him or anything he does as “liberal” is, um, well — RIDICULOUS. Millis even took to Facebook to call Hastings out on this rhetoric. Here’s what Hastings posted on AFP’s Facebook page:
Okay. Let’s look at the Millis bill and see if we can find the liberalism Hastings speaks of. (HB 681 merely amends existing state policy. ) Here are the current standards governing the existing renewable energy portfolio mandates:
a. Diversify the resources used to reliably meet the energy needs of consumers in the State.
b. Provide greater energy security through the use of indigenous energy resources available within the State.
c. Encourage private investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
d. Provide improved air quality
The Millis bill strikes all that and amends the law to require only: “promot[ion of] the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in a manner that is consistent with the development of the least cost mix of generation.” Hmmm. Tossing out a bunch of feel-good lefty platitudes and making COST the primary factor. *That just SCREAMS socialism.*
The Millis bill also kills off, in 2018, the mandate for utilities to buy a certain percentage of alternative energy to sell to their customers. (Millis admitted on social media that he would rather have ended the mandates sooner, but compromised on the 2018 deadline in order to win more votes.) Current law has the mandate continuing and growing indefinitely. Killing off a government mandate? *Again, socialism rears its ugly head.*
The Millis bill calls for a financial study of the costs associated with traditional and alternative forms of energy. The study was to focus on how the cost of implementing each process affects the bottom line for the state’s power grid and consumers themselves. *Again, trying to make cost a primary consideration.*
I guess the section repealing the property tax exclusion for solar energy systems is what Hastings is calling a “tax increase.” Actually, it’s taking away a sweetheart deal afforded a relatively small, deep-pocketed, politically-connected group of people. These people get special tax breaks to produce a product that the government MAKES other people purchase.
I am NOT seeing the liberalism here. Mr. Hastings is welcome to post at the end of this article to enlighten us.