Don’t Go Green in Oklahoma, Or It’ll Cost You
The energy companies say it is "fair." Energy conservationists say it is "unthinkable." I'm just really confused. The Oklahoma Legislature approved a measure last week that would allow energy companies to charge people a monthly fee for moving to greener and more sustainable energy sources.
It could be the constant promotion of green resources (solar power, wind energy) that make me wonder why our state government would allow energy companies to charge a fee to those who outfit their houses in solar panels to reduce their pull on our resources. S.B. 1456 passed the house after no debate. The legislatures say it is OK for Oklahoma residents who install solar panels to pay a fee - - but they don't put any structure in place to limit what the fee would be.
Energy companies are happy, though. They say the measure would make energy delivery 'fair' to everyone -- meaning if you are trying to be more responsible and sustain your own property with something like solar energy, you will be charged a fee so that people who don't -- won't have to pay more money.
I also wonder how that makes sense when many properties can sell back their excess energy to the electric company. . .who then sells that energy to someone else. Now, they have to pay a fee to the company who then charges the next customer a fee for usage.
In my very simple mind, it seems as if something isn't right here. Add that to the fact that our state offers tax credits for large wind turbines which are supplying energy from out of state -- but are now going to penalize our own residents if they want to install a smaller version on their own property.
It also struck me as odd that this came during earth week, when we are all supposed to look at how we use our resources. Oklahoma has learned the hard way that our natural resources are limited and precious. Just ask our grandfathers how over-farming devastated this area in the dust bowl era. We conserve water, we work the land responsibly and we count every resource as precious. We have worked to be self-sufficient and less dependent -- and now the best of us who adopt these values -- will be charged a fee for being responsible.
Does that seem a little backward to you, too?
If you disagree -- let me know. Post your comments below!