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Awkward Optics…Clinton And Billionaire Donor At Odds Over Net Metering

- August 18, 2015

Clinton's Trip To Nevada Comes At A Time When Billionaire Clinton Supporter Warren Buffett Is Trying To Shutdown Net Metering In The State. "Hillary Clinton has expressed support for net metering, which allows homeowners who install rooftop solar panels to sell their excess electricity to the power company. In New Hampshire last month, she criticized utilities that resist the practice. But in advance of the Democratic presidential candidate's latest trip to Las Vegas on Tuesday, Republicans are daring Clinton to speak out on net metering in a state where it is a growing controversy - and where the power company is owned by billionaire Clinton supporter Warren Buffet." (Steve Tetreault, "GOP Dares Hillary To Talk Net Metering In Las Vegas," The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/15/15)

Clinton Has Expressed Support For Net Metering On The Campaign Trail, And Chided "Utilities that Resist The Practice." "Hillary Clinton has expressed support for net metering, which allows homeowners who install rooftop solar panels to sell their excess electricity to the power company. In New Hampshire last month, she criticized utilities that resist the practice." (Steve Tetreault, "GOP Dares Hillary To Talk Net Metering In Las Vegas," The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/15/15)

  • Last Month, Clinton Said That We Need To Stop Utilities That Prevent Consumers From Selling Energy Back To The Grid. CLINTON: "I will tell you that we have to address it. There's lots of things we need to do to address it. Number one we've got to prevent backsliding, that's why I said watch out for utilities that want to stop clean renewable energy, and enabling customers to sell back to the grid because they want to prevent the transition." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Town Hall, Dover, NH, 7/16/15)

Clinton Has Not Responded To Questions About Her Hypocrisy. "Clinton's campaign did not comment when queried on Friday." (Steve Tetreault, "GOP Dares Hillary To Talk Net Metering In Las Vegas," The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/15/15)

BUFFETT'S GOAL IS TO EMILINATE "SOLAR" AND HIGH-TECH JOBS THAT THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY IN NEVADA PROVIDES

Buffet's Company In Nevada, NV Energy Is Actively Fighting Against A Pro-Solar Energy Bill. "Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power. Berkshire's NV Energy, the state's dominant utility, opposes the proposal to increase a cap on the amount of energy that can be generated with solar panels by residents who sell power back to the grid in a practice known as net metering." (Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar, And Margaret Newkirk, "Warren Buffett Is Sending Mixed Messages on Green Energy," Bloomberg, 5/18/15)

  • The Push From Buffett Has Come With Accusations Of Monopolizing Energy Distribution In The State. "Nevada's burgeoning solar industry on Wednesday accused NV Energy of trying to maintain its power monopoly by stifling a program that lets customers with rooftop solar arrays get credit for producing extra electricity." (Laura Myers And Sean Whaley, "Advocates Accuse State, NV Energy Of Anti-Solar Bias," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/15/15)

Buffett Has Spent "An Enormous Amount" On Ads And Lobbying To Stop Rooftop Solar. "The stakes are high in Nevada, said Bryan Miller, co-chairman at The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC). He sees solar's chief opponent in Nevada not as NV Energy, but Warren Buffett's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, which he says has spent 'an enormous amount' on ads and lobbying against rooftop solar." (Reem Nasr, "Ground Zero In Solar Wars: Nevada," CNBC, 5/26/15)

Buffett Views " Rooftop Solar As Competition" That Must Be Stopped. Miller, the co-chair of the Alliance for Solar Choice, said Berkshire Hathaway and Buffett have tried to kill caps in several other states, 'but have lost everywhere they've tried it,' including in Utah and Washington state. 'It's the ultimate bullying of an industry that's creating 6,000 jobs' in Nevada, Miller said. 'They've been very clear they view rooftop solar as competition. Monopolists don't like competition.'" (Laura Myers And Sean Whaley, "Advocates Accuse State, NV Energy Of Anti-Solar Bias," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/15/15)

Buffett's War On Solar Is Killing What Was A Growing Industry In Nevada That Has Added Thousands Of New Jobs Over The Past Year

Buffett's Agenda To "Eliminate Solar" Has Been Called A "Jobs Cap," Putting 6,000 Nevada Jobs At Risk. "'Their goal is to eliminate solar rooftop competition,' said Bryan Miller, co-chair of the Alliance for Solar Choice, noting that some 6,000 Nevada jobs tied to the solar industry are at stake. 'NV Energy and its owner, Berkshire Hathaway, has been on a national agenda to eliminate solar' net metering by individuals. 'It's a jobs cap.'" (Laura Myers And Sean Whaley, "Advocates Accuse State, NV Energy Of Anti-Solar Bias," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/15/15)

  • Nevada Has Increased The Number Of Solar Jobs Annually, And Is Number One In The Nation In Solar Jobs Per Capita. "According to a census conducted by The Solar Foundation, Nevada leads the country in the number of solar jobs per capita. The industry employed about 5,900 Nevadans in 2014, up 3,500 from the previous year." (Reem Nasr, "Ground Zero In Solar Wars: Nevada," CNBC, 5/26/15)
  • The State's Solar Industry "Has Grown By More Than 1,000 Percent In The Past Year." "The company began hiring and opened offices in Nevada, hoping to capitalize in a solar market that has grown by more than 1,000 percent in the past year." (Kyle Roerink, "Solar Company Suspends Nevada Expansion, Blames NV Energy Controversy," The Las Vegas Sun, 8/14/15)

The Nation's Second-Largest Rooftop Solar Company Recently Announced That It Would Suspend Its Plans To Expand In Nevada, Which Will Cost Future Jobs And Growth. "Vivint Solar, which has operations in 10 states, announced in July that it would be expanding to Las Vegas. It's second to SolarCity in number of customers nationwide. The company began hiring and opened offices in Nevada, hoping to capitalize in a solar market that has grown by more than 1,000 percent in the past year. But that's all coming to a halt thanks to the fight on net metering, a program allowing solar customers to receive a credit for providing energy to the grid with solar panels. 'Subsequent to entering Nevada, the available net metering was exhausted. As a result, we have suspended operations in Nevada,' the company's SEC report said." (Kyle Roerink, "Solar Company Suspends Nevada Expansion, Blames NV Energy Controversy," The Las Vegas Sun, 8/14/15)

  • "The News Signals That The Fracas Between NV Energy And The Solar Industry Are Deterring New Business From Operating In Nevada. "The news signals that the fracas between NV Energy and the solar industry are deterring new businesses from operating in Nevada." (Kyle Roerink, "Solar Company Suspends Nevada Expansion, Blames NV Energy Controversy," The Las Vegas Sun, 8/14/15)

AS NEVADANS RALLY TO PROTECT THE STATE'S SOLAR INDUSTRY, BUFFETT'S SOLAR-KILLING WAYS HAVE BEEN PANNED BY DEMOCRAT LEADER HARRY REID

Hundreds Of People Rallied Against NV Energy's Innovation-Killing Agenda Outside Of The Public Utilities Commission In Carson City. "Hundreds of people rallied for solar jobs at a meeting of the Public Utilities Commission Wednesday. Members of Nevada's solar industry have been complaining NV Energy is proposing changes that would kill the industry." (Elizabeth Watts, "PUC Denies Bid To Keep Net Metering Program In Place," Fox 5 Vegas, 8/12/15)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Has Called For The Net-Metering Cap To Be Lifted, Against Buffett's Wishes. "U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said the state should raise its net-metering cap to allow for more rooftop solar, the Las Vegas Sun reported on Thursday." (Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar, And Margaret Newkirk, "Warren Buffett Is Sending Mixed Messages on Green Energy," Bloomberg, 5/18/15)

Reid Called the Current Cap "Way Too Low," And Said It Would Be A "Real Shame For Not Only Homeowners But Also The State At Large" If The Cap Was Not Lifted. "The cap limiting how many homeowners in Nevada can provide solar power to the energy grid is 'way too low,' said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader….'It would be a real shame for not only homeowners but also the state at large' if lawmakers don't increase the cap, Reid said from his Capitol Hill office on Monday." (Amber Phillips and Kyle Roerink, "Harry Reid: Raise The Cap To Allow More Rooftop Solar," The Las Vegas Sun, 5/14/15)

Reid Has Stated That NV Energy's Net Metering Plan Won't Be "Helping Their Standing," In Nevada. "The solar industry says the proposed NV Energy rate won't make rooftop solar sustainable in Nevada . It has support from Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada's most powerful clean energy booster. Reid told reporters last week he was 'concerned about this issue.' 'I don't think it's helping their standing,' Reid said of the power company. The National Clean Energy Summit that Reid is hosting on Aug. 24 in Las Vegas will feature participants debating net metering." (Steve Tetreault, "GOP Dares Hillary To Talk Net Metering In Las Vegas," The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/15/15)


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