[T]hink about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview.
And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.
Today’s decision makes Indiana the first state in the nation to roll back its energy savings goals. While we are very disappointed with the governor’s decision to allow SEA340 to become law, it is critical that Governor Pence and the Indiana General Assembly now follow through on their promise of creating an improved energy efficiency program for Indiana. Energizing Indiana has saved millions of dollars, created hundreds of jobs, reduced energy costs and made Indiana homes and businesses warmer and more energy efficient. There’s no denying that hundreds of energy efficiency workers will be out of a job next January when utilities cancel or scale back home energy audits, appliance rebates and low-income home weatherization programs. We will now work with our coalition partners to make sure Indiana electric utilities will be required to replace what they’ve destroyed, despite their historic failure to reduce energy demand for the benefit of their customers.
I remember when Mike Pence was in congress and what a smug bastard he seemed like then. This action is petty and reactionary; it serves no real purpose other than to run up the meters of Indiana utility consumers thus giving another coat of lining to the pockets of energy utilities.
A spokesperson for Xcel Energy — a $10.1 billion a year public company based in Minnesota — said that the company hasn’t been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since 2011 in response to a recent letter to the Boulder Weekly criticizing Xcel’s efforts to reduce homeowner solar “net metering” credits as a hindrance to transitioning to renewable energy sources. The spokesperson attempted to distance the company from ALEC, complaining, “if you’ve been affiliated once, then they’ll brand you for life.”
Xcel Energy was listed as a state co-chair in ALEC documents from the summer of 2011, but Xcel told Boulder Weekly that it last paid dues in 2010. It is not clear when Xcel actually stopped aiding ALEC.
In addition, responding to investor pressure, Endo Health Solutions — a $3 billion a year publicly traded company based in Pennsylvania — has cut ties to ALEC and stopped providing any funding to the group, according to a statement by Trillium Asset Management, which is engaged in shareholder advocacy with the company.