"The solar-power amendment on Florida’s ballot is a slick, oily fraud"
November 1, 2016 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Leaked audio has revealed "political jiu-jitsu" used by big utility companies in their portrayal of a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution. A campaign in favor of the amendment has been deliberately deceiving voters into believing Amendment 1 is pro-solar. In an enlightening October 2nd speech to conservative groups, Sal Nuzzo, VP of the James Madison Institute, boasted about misleading the public into thinking that Amendment 1 - appearing on Florida ballots as Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice - would protect solar energy in Florida.

In fact, as many have been saying all along, the proposal is actually intended to discourage people from buying or leasing solar panels from third-parties, which is how most Americans get their residential solar power. Restrictions and roadblocks to such third-party agreements are common among southern states, which coincidentally have some of the better solar energy potential in the country.

While the campaign to support the amendment - which has now scrubbed references to JMI from its website and social media - has received funding and support from Koch- and Exxon-funded front groups, Florida newspapers have also come under fire for their role in helping to promote the deception by publishing numerous op-eds from these groups without disclosing their industry ties. And though the campaign had been successful in deceiving voters, it may now be losing steam.
posted by theory (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Every post on my FB feed about Amendment 1 has been against it.
posted by oddman at 7:51 PM on November 1, 2016 [5 favorites]

For those of you unaware about the specifics of Amendment 1, the tl:dr; is that the utilities are basically trying to make net metering prohibited in Florida by couching it in a right to own or lease solar panels. They're hoping people get into the voting booth and don't read past the first sentence.
posted by Talez at 8:12 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

The local alt weekly printed an anti-Ammendment 1 editorial about a month ago.

These kinds of ammendments occasionally make me thankful for the 60% threshold for passage.
posted by wittgenstein at 8:39 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

basically trying to make net metering prohibited in Florida

This is a deeply stupid move, because if it succeeds, all it's going to do is accelerate grid defections and deprive the utilities of customers.

In a future dominated by distributed generation and distributed storage, the main purpose of the grid will be to function as reliability insurance, guarding against the effects of temporary localized supply deficits. Any utility business model that doesn't reflect this fact will lose out to competitors who understand it.
posted by flabdablet at 11:39 PM on November 1, 2016 [6 favorites]

There are nice long commercials on the radio lately pro Am 1. Only talk about keeping solar rights for people of Florida by enshrining them in the constitution
posted by tilde at 4:01 AM on November 2, 2016

Conservatives have been misleading voters about the likely effect of their policies my entire life. It's a winning strategy for them. The very fact that they have to lie, though, is an admission that their policies are not popular. If only Democrats would be better at pointing that simple fact out.
posted by Gelatin at 4:24 AM on November 2, 2016 [11 favorites]

stories like this make me afraid of politics and voting in general. It makes me wonder if anything is true. Maybe next week a new story will come out that the fakery was in fact a double fakery? There's just no trusting anything.
posted by rebent at 5:21 AM on November 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

t makes me wonder if anything is true. Maybe next week a new story will come out that the fakery was in fact a double fakery? There's just no trusting anything.

Annnnnd, their job is done. That's been pretty much the game-plan since the Reagan revolution.

You can't trust science. You can't trust media. You can't trust schools. You can't trust your neighbor. And, you certainly can't trust liberals. But, look...stare closely at my American flag lapel pin....You...Can...Trust...Meeeeeee.....
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on November 2, 2016 [23 favorites]

This is nothing new. The playbook against the environmental movement is derived and refined from the playbook against the anti-smoking movement. One of the biggest areas where this sort of activity has been happening for two decades is the forestry industry where as soon as a 3rd party group started getting a real foothold the industry came out with their organization which was largely premised on saying everything they were already doing and planning to do was sustainable - and supported by pointing at folks in other parts of the world with even worse practices.

Unfortunately, there are few shortcuts, and not enough time in life to do deep research on everything. That's why I appreciate a place like Metafilter so much. It does indeed help me get more comfortable much more quickly that I have gotten to a place or real substance on topics which I might not otherwise know how to touch.
posted by meinvt at 6:40 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Every post on my FB feed about Amendment 1 has been against it.

This isn't a left thing, either. My trumpkin relatives in Levy County post anti-1 stuff when they're taking a break from posting NEW PROOF CLINTON IS ABOUT TO BE ARRESTED!! stuff.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:50 AM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, if you are an even slightly informed voter, I can't imagine not voting "NO" on this, but if you are solely informed by radio and TV commercials then you'd think this amendment is the greatest pro-solar thing ever.
posted by gatorae at 8:13 AM on November 2, 2016

The Gainesville Sun did not just throw down astroturf. They listed Consumers for Smart Solar's industry ties and they published the industry editorial next to an editorial recommending a no vote on amendment one.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2016

« Older 364 days for you to top these costumes   |   developers! developers! developers! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments