December 5, 2013 4:30 am -

ALEC-chartJust after learning that GOP ally ALEC took it on the chin in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, we discover that those purveyors of state legislation designed to make rich companies richer wants to impose a “stealth” tax on users of home solar panels. And you thought the GOP and conservatives were all about rugged individualistic self-sufficiency? Think again:

An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as “freeriders” – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned.

Over the coming year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalising individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, which is Barack Obama’s main channel for climate action.

Details of ALEC’s strategy to block clean energy development at every stage – from the individual rooftop to the White House – are revealed as the group gathers for its policy summit in Washington this week.

About 800 state legislators and business leaders are due to attend the three-day event, which begins on Wednesday with appearances by the Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson and the Republican budget guru and fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.