by Sloan Bashinsky…….
My random thoughts on Amendment 4 and related “growing greener every day” Key West, based on what I’ve seen, heard and read.
Amendment 4 is a pro-solar energy Amendment to the state Constitution, on the August 4 ballot. Amendment 4 would offer a tax exemption to commercial property owners who install renewable energy devices in a state that already allows the tax break for residential solar power systems. Since it’s a proposed amendment to Florida’s Constitution, Amendment 4 requires 60 percent of the vote to pass. If it passes, the tax exemption would begin Jan. 1, 2018, and continue for 20 years, reducing the cost of solar up to 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
Also on the August 4 ballot is Amendment 1, a utility-backed measure to maintain the status quo in how solar is regulated. Amendment 1 supporters say it will protect consumers from fraud. Amendment 4 supporters say Amendment 1 is kinda like the fox in the hen house.
I like Amendment 4, but, aw gee whiz, why not spit it out all the way and say the mainland companies producing Florida and Florida Keys electricity are using fossil and nuclear fuels to make that electricity, and they make more money making electricity that way, than they will make if, for example, every home and business building in Florida and the Florida Keys uses solar arrays to produce electricity for themselves, when the sun is out, and sells what electricity they don’t use, which they produce, to their local power company, from whom they buy electricity when they are not producing it for themselves?
And, aw gee whiz, why not say historically, the City of Key West has been in cahoots with Keys Energy, and vice versa, in not taking the city into the solar age, and, in fact, that dynamic duo have done all they can to prevent it, including it being illegal in Key West to put solar panels on roofs of homes and business buildings, and in yards, because that don’t jive with Key West’s architecture and fossil image?
And, aw gee whiz, why not say, city government and its captured electric company, Key West is at the very tip end of this here asteroid belt, and of all cities in Florida, and in America, Key West ought to be doing all it can to use FREE sunlight to make electricity?
And, aw gee whiz, since we are talking about sustainability, why not say, instead of pumping our treated waste water into deep injection wells, we should be reusing every drop of water we get from Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, which pumps water out of depleting south Florida freshwater aquifers and processes it in a mainland electric-powered, and which also processes brackish water in a mainland desalination plant, and then pumps all of that now drinkable water, using even more mainland-made fossil and nuclear fuel-made electricity, all the way down to Key West? And despite having no competition, runs radio ads telling us why we should drink that delicious mainland-made water.
And, aw gee whiz, why not say, why come we got rid off all of our cisterns, which collected FREE rainwater, which at the very least could be used to irrigate our desert island, and wash our cars and trucks, and clean our streets, instead of using water made on the mainland with electricity produced by fossil fuels and nuclear power, then pumped all the way down here by more of that same power?