CONSERVATIVES FOR ENERGY FREEDOM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2015
Americans For Prosperity begins a campaign of deception in Florida
Tampa, Fla. March 6, 2015– Conservatives For Energy Freedom is very disappointed that Americans For Prosperity has begun a campaign of deception to stop the Floridians for Solar Choice Ballot Initiative. This initiative is being led by conservative groups including Conservatives for Energy Freedom, The Tea Party Network, Christian Coalition, The Libertarian Party of Florida, Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, and Republican Liberty Caucus of Tampa Bay. Other conservative groups continue to contact us to join our coalition. In addition to the conservative organizations, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Florida Retail Federation are part of our coalition.
The talking points are attached that are being distributed via email by Americans For Prosperity leadership in Florida. We have also attached Floridians For Solar Choice rebuttal to the talking points.
Debbie Dooley observed, “AFP has done many good things for conservatives, but they have on certain issues, ignored their principles in order to protect the financial interests of their corporate benefactors. In 2008, AFP went against conservatives and supported “TARP” aka “Wall Street Bailout”. They refuse to take a position on the fiscal irresponsibility of illegal immigration and amnesty because their corporate benefactors support open borders and amnesty. AFP opposes decentralized energy. Their corporate benefactors have massive financial interests in coal. “Dooley also stated that, “AFP frequently mentions the subsidies for solar, but fails to bring up the fact fossil fuel and nuclear have been very heavily subsidized since 1932 and still are. In addition, government created monopolies are subsidized both by the Federal government and by captive utility customers. AFP doesn’t seem to have an issue with subsides if it is in the financial interests of their major donors. For the record, I oppose ALL energy subsidies .”
Tory Perfetti states, “This Ballot Initiative will open up the Energy Market in Florida to freedom of choice and allow commerce to be conducted through the free market. This Initiative will not mandate the purchase of solar nor will you find anywhere in the ballot language anything which says that solar will be subsidized, so to say otherwise is false. I have said and will continue to say to all individuals who inquire as to what this amendment is about to go and read it as the language is clear. This Amendment will provide a net win for both Florida citizens and businesses. I am fully confident that the citizens of Florida will not be misled by false statements which have no validity or legitimacy to back them up. I am and have been a Conservative since I was young and it is disappointing to think that AFP would try to mislead people into thinking that this Amendment is not good for Florida and it's people when anyone who reads the ballot can see what it does, which is allow commerce to be conducted.”
Perfetti added, “Another reason this initiative is necessary is that currently, Florida is just 1 of 5 States where it is illegal to enter into a contract to have a solar company front the cost of installation of the panels on your roof and then sell that energy to you. If your first thoughts are this can't be true because we don't out-law the free market in America, you are wrong. In this great State, you and I whether as an individual homeowner or business cannot practice free market commerce just like we would regarding other purchases. This Amendment looks to right this wrong by allowing you the individual to choose if you wish to enter into a contract as mentioned above.”
Our friends at “Liberty First Network” did a great analysis on our ballot initiative that you can read at this link:
Hillsdale College Economics Chair, Charles Steele, when queried about our ballot initiative said:
"The initiative is a great idea. It would open the market to competition and give more energy at lower prices," said Charles Steele, the Herman and Suzanne Dettwiler Chair in Economics at Hillsdale College. "The irony is that at one time electricity production was considered a natural monopoly and the regulatory apparatus was set up to protect consumers. Now the regulatory bureaucracy is being used to protect the monopolies and hurt the consumer,” Steele added.
Steele says innovations benefiting consumers will likely arise if the initiative succeeds.
"These new technologies should be allowed to compete freely in the market,” Steele said. “They should not be subsidized, but neither should they be hamstrung for the sake of protecting older, established firms. If we want our energy problems fixed, the best thing we can do is to free up the market. The most efficient firms and technologies will win, and consumers will be better off.”
For Steele, the initiative drive is a logical choice, "[I]t's not surprising that this be done by initiative instead of legislatively. Long-established firms find it easier to lobby than to compete in the free market, so citizens have to take matters into their own hands through the initiative process," Steele said.
To learn more about this fight please see the following documents: