Monkey Business Report: SB554 + Indians + solar subsidies

monkeyGranted, SB554 has the stink of plain ol’ political corruption.  But evidence is mounting that suggests this may be yet more hijinks from the solar goons.

The developer pushing hard for SB554 has a track record of promoting, designing and building “green” facilities powered by solar energy.  As part of his advocacy for SB554, he has touted his recently completed solar-powered school in Hoke County.

Jerry Tillman’s presence as a sponsor on this bill also raises suspicion.  Tillman is an errand boy for the solar lobby.  He has received a lot of praise AND cash from that crowd.  He’s a major player on Jones Street who does not mind carrying water for Big Solar.

Thanks to the state’s “renewable energy portfolio,” there are all kinds of state government handouts available to producers of solar energy.  There are also mandates requiring utilities to provide a set amount of “alternative energy” to its customers.  THAT is why you see so many of these solar panels littering the landscape these days.  *There’s government $$$$ to be reaped in them thar’ toxic eyesores.* 

Now comes word that there are FEDERAL “benefits” available for Indian tribes involved in big moneysolar projects.  SB554 is aimed primarily at Robeson County, which is the home base for the Lumbee Indian tribe.  Lumbee politicos have been aggressively lining the pockets of key politicians in Raleigh to get the bill passed.  (Just this Friday, the Lumbees hosted a fundraiser for senate president Phil Berger.) 

You’ve got to wonder about the sourcing of all of this cash (low to mid six figures) coming out of Robeson County — one of the poorest in the state — in support of this bill. 

Some libertarian / free market types may praise this legislation as some kind of extraordinary innovation.  In reality, it is looking more and more like a jackpot for a select few connected folks — at the expense of the rest of us.