Friday, June 15, 2007

Taxing Our Way To A Greener Tomorrow.

The Los Angeles Times came out in support of AB 1470, the proposed tax on natural gas that would create a subsidy for home solar water heaters.

As one commentor on this blog put it so eloquently when we batted this horrible bill around in April, "Tax natural gas to promote solar? So energy isn't expensive enough already? WTF is this guy doing? Unbelievable."


We have a green mandate in California that is practically unachievable and the legislature's response is to tax its way out of the problem.

The best part of the Times' editorial though is the sub-headline:

"Special interests shouldn't be allowed to eclipse legislation making solar water heaters a better deal."

Let's parse that sentence, shall we?

First, "Special interests," from the Times' perspective are clearly the gas companies that are actively opposing the bill. However, the Times conveniently ignores the fact that solar power is beholden to more than a few "special interests" of its own-- all of whom are no doubt wearing out the soles of the Guccis walking the halls in Sacramento.

We've talked a lot on this blog about how solar has become the absolute darling of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley. Do you mean to tell me that a venture capitalist from Sand Hill Road doesn't qualify as a "special interest"?

Second, "shouldn't be allowed" to eclipse legisation... Really? Are we seriously talking about shutting people out of the legilsative process? That sounds like denying civil liberties to me... but, the Consitution be damned if your personal or corporate agenda does not mirror the media's!

Third, "making water heaters a better deal".... Here is a simple, unimpeachable truth: if a tax on every Californian who uses natural gas to light and heat their house is required to make solar water heaters economically viable, then solar water heaters are a bad deal to begin with-- period. Why are legislators trying to make a "bad deal" marginally better when they should be focusing on coming up with a legitimately "good deal" for consumers.

Solar power makes sense
Special interests shouldn't be allowed to eclipse legislation making solar water heaters a better deal.

[Los Angeles Times]