Current Republican leadership is really good at two things, as far as I can tell: 1) lying, and 2) fighting every single thing that Obama tries to do. I don’t think they represent the Republican base, but most Americans (Republicans as well as Democrats) are so uninformed politically that most Republicans don’t realize it. Furthermore, popular noise machines like Fox News are at least as bad as the Republican congressmen they align with.
For the most part, Americans don’t want more dirty coal power. They want to move into a renewable energy future. This goes for both Republicans and Democrats. But Republican congresspeople, who almost entirely align with fossil fuel billionaires, have been going crazy about new coal regulations aimed at cleaning up US coal a tincy little bit. The funny thing is, they and their puppets at Fox News and related outlets, have been so extreme about “what these coal regulations are going to do to your electric bill” that they have been pushing people toward solar power!
Of course, some Tea Partiers and conservative Republicans have also come to solar because of the energy independence, self-reliance, conservative and financial benefits it offers, but now even more are getting pushed in that direction.
Bloomberg gives a fun snapshot of this in a recent article: “Georgia small-business owner Julian Smith keeps hearing that the Obama administration’s latest climate regulations will drive up local electric bills. He doesn’t believe the prediction, but he isn’t arguing: The fears are doing wonders for his solar-panel installation company.”
“My phone is blowing up with new customers,” Smith, owner of SolarSmith LLC of Savannah, said in an interview. “It turns out that if you tell everybody the amount they will spend on electricity will skyrocket, they will believe you.”
Even if electricity prices don’t skyrocket, solar power is already competitive with retail electricity (i.e., cheaper over the medium term) for millions if not hundreds of millions of Americans. A lot of people don’t realize it, because they’ve been hearing for years that solar is too expensive, but solar costs have fallen off a steep cliff in the past few years and if they look into it now, they often find tens of thousands of dollars in electricity savings waiting for them.
I do all I can to bring this point to the attention of more people, but a little help from Fox and friends doesn’t hurt.
Image: rooftop solar installation via Shutterstock