The Kochs Block Solar Energy in the Sunshine State

May 22, 2015

This week the Kochs were vilified in a Gainesville Sun editorial for their greedy efforts to stave off threats to their oil and gas empire. The paper blames Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ political arm, for an obscure regulation that limits the expansion of solar power in the Sunshine State. 

Florida is one of five states that has a law on the books prohibiting residents from selling power from solar panels installed on homes or businesses — instead consumers can only buy electricity directly from utilities. The Gainesville Sun pins the ban on AFP’s intense lobbying efforts to protect their fossil fuel fortune. The paper points to overwhelming evidence that the expansion of solar energy would save money, reduce fossil-fuel emissions, and create jobs.

Time and time again, the Koch brothers’ self-interested actions proved to be beneficial to their bottom line at the expense of hardworking Floridians. As part of the mandate to expose Koch tactics, this month Bridge Project released a report titled Florida Man Buys State: Koch Impacts in the Sunshine State. It’s a comprehensive look at the billionaire brothers political maneuvering in the key swing state. The report includes an outline of Koch efforts to squash a ballot initiative that would allow businesses to sell power to property owners directly.
“The Koch Brothers are so singularly dedicated to their bottom line that AFP even drew the ire of other conservative groups by opposing a proposed ballot initiative with broad support that would open Florida up to the solar industry, a move that would threaten Koch’s oil and gas operations,” says the report. “Conservatives for Energy Freedom co-founder Debby Dooley criticized AFP’s efforts by saying, ‘You don’t throw your principles out the window to benefit your corporate benefactors.'”
The Koch machine is working overtime to rig the system in their favor — even in the face of commonsense reforms like expanding solar energy in the Sunshine State.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation