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January 23, 2020

Professor Kennedy in her blog today describes how the Indiana legislature (a super majority Republican group) at the behest of public utilities (read campaign contributions) changed the law which formerly allowed those with solar panels to resell their excess electricity back to their utility at the same price such customers paid for the utility’s electricity less some minor costs paid to the utility for bookkeeping etc. The change amounted to a resale of excess electricity to the utility at a wholesale rather than the former retail price which, somehow, was said to be in the public interest. I responded to her blog, slightly edited, as follows.

My older daughter lives in rural Bloomington, Indiana, and has solar panels on the roofs of her house and garage. She told me the same story Professor Kennedy has told us today. She thought her 35 grand investment would be partially offset by sale of her surplus electricity at retail, but the legislature, which was neither privy nor a party to her contract, decreed otherwise, which should but doesn’t give her standing to sue the legislature for the little known tort of “interference with advantageous third party relationships”). So much for Republican propaganda in re “free enterprise, “what the market will bear,” the evils of “Big Government”and other such myths these business socialists peddle.

It’s a good thing the Indiana legislature of today was not in power during the transition from horse and buggy days to horseless carriage days, considering recurring cleanup costs, and speaking of consideration, consider Amazon with its new merchandising methodology and quick delivery and what it is doing to our brick and mortar culture. Is the Hoosier legislature (with an eye on campaign contributions) considering a means of political tampering with innovation in this marketplace niche via taxation or welfare or whatever?

Let’s hope such interference in the marketplace Republicans pretend to revere isn’t contagious and that the State of California doesn’t pull a coal or an electrical stunt on Silicon Valley, an unlikely event as measured by scale but illustrative of the principle involved, or shall we all move back to the cave in the name of profit?

There are lots of reasons to carry Aunt Nell to the polls this fall; this is one of them.

GERALD         E

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