Is Florida’s “Solar” Amendment a Ploy for Crony Capitalism?

By Faith and Freedom, Special for  USDR

Today, the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition called on leaders of the campaign for a constitutional amendment on solar energy to clarify the ballot language and require a ban on subsidies. Coalition President and Chairman Jim Kallinger was joined by State Representatives Doug Broxson and Dennis Baxley and Tea Party LeaderBillie Tucker to release a letter to Debbie Dooley, leader of the Green Tea Coalition, and to Floridians for Solar Choice. The letter asks the organizations to clarify and strengthen the language in their proposed Constitutional  amendment.

“Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of this particular ballot initiative may be mandates and subsidies that result in higher utility rates for everyone,” said Jim Kallinger, President and Chairman of the Coalition and a former state legislator. “Before we could be supportive of this amendment, we would want there to be a clear prohibition of government mandates and  subsidies.”

Kallinger made clear that the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition supports solar energy and favors a free market approach to developing all energy sources in order to foster economic growth and strengthen national security. Their hesitation, said Coalition leaders, is that the language in the proposed amendment is too vague, prompting concern of a hidden agenda to leverage government subsidies that will result in fewer energy choices while driving up prices for energy  customers.

“I share the Coalition’s concern that the vague language of this amendment could lead to court-ordered mandates and subsidies, all paid for by the taxpayers,” said Rep. Doug Broxson. “We need to be very careful. I strongly endorse Jim’s call to include a line in the proposed ballot language to prohibit mandates or  subsidies.”

“In my district and in many other parts of the state, some of the largest bills that working families and retired seniors may pay are their utility bills,” said Rep. Dennis Baxley, former Speaker Pro Tempore of the Florida House. “Before we put something into the constitution, I want to know exactly what effect it is going to have on them and make sure that we get this  right.”

“A review of how solar is being implemented across the country reveals a pattern of mandates joined with subsidies paid by the taxpayers,” said Tea Party leader Billie Tucker. “It is difficult to tell, especially in the United States, whether the solar industry could survive without them. That is why many of us in the Tea Party movement have concerns about this  amendment.”

“It is unfortunate that some of my fellow conservatives may be swayed by those pushing a liberal ideology,” Kallinger added. “If Floridians for Solar Choice changes their ballot amendment to reflect free market principles by specifically prohibiting subsidies and mandates for solar power, then we could find some common ground.”

Floridians for Solar Choice is collecting signatures to put their constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot in  Florida.

About the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition
The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition is committed to educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals to be effective citizens. Together, the Coalition influences public policy and enacts legislation that strengthens families, promotes time-honored values, protects the dignity of life and marriage, lowers the tax burden on small business and families, and requires government to tighten its belt and live within its  means.

SOURCE Florida Faith and Freedom  Coalition

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