In Georgia on Thursday, the Tea Party scored a victory against the Tea Party by helping push through a plan requiring the state’s largest electric utility to increase its capacity for solar power.
Never a dull day in Southern politics, is there? A proposal by Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald to more than double the amount of solar energy produced by Georgia Power pitted the Tea Party Patriots against the local chapter of Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity (of the notorious “No Climate Tax Pledge”). Virginia Galloway, director of AFP for the state, warned the group’s 50,000 Georgia members that the proposal could increase electricity rates by up to 40 percent, and that this “mandate” -- as she called it -- would “reduce the reliability of every appliance and electronics gadget in your home.” But the Patriots see an increase in the availability of solar as an expansion of the free market and the ratepayers’ right to choose their energy sources.
Those on the left might have a hard time distinguishing between brands of Tea Party, but there are real differences. From the Athens Banner-Herald:
Disagreement between the two groups isn’t unusual. [Debbie Dooley, national coordinator of the Patriots,] says Galloway is using outdated figures since solar-panel prices have dropped by more than half in the last three years. She also accuses Galloway of being swayed by the fossil-fuel interests that contribute to AFP nationally.
And, to hear Dooley tell it, AFP’s opposition to solar may not reflect the will of the people (or at least the people comprising its target audience).