Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Big Solar Energy Swarms upon N.C. Republican Manure Pile

Did North Carolinians kick democrats out of office only to replace them with like-minded republicans?  I know I didn’t vote for the status quo.  Just because a politician has an “R” behind his name doesn’t give him a license to continue the corrupt practices that’s endemic in Raleigh.  Republicans were supposed to put an end to this crap.

Big Solar Energy has once again wormed its way into the taxpayers’ wallet.  So-called free market conservatives voted to continue government mandates and subsidies for inefficient and expensive renewable energy schemes.  We can expect no relief from high utility bills.

Who are these scoundrels?  The Civitas Institute reported the following:

Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland), perhaps the most outspoken proponent of solar energy this year, is listed as a sponsor on HB 454 The Energy Investment Act, a bill that would extend the 35 percent state tax credit for renewables. He also is a primary sponsor on another bill, HB 245, Utilities/The Energy Freedom Act, which will allow third-party sales of electricity from on-site renewable energy facilities.

And don’t forget these people:

Szoka is not the only Republican who has turned his back on conservative, free-market principles to take up the cause of more government mandates, political favoritism and higher electric bills. In April 2013, Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherford) sponsored legislation to roll back the renewable energy mandates. Six Republicans joined with all the Democrats in the Public Utilities and Energy Committee and voted against the legislation, preventing the bill from making it to the House floor for a vote. The Republicans who voted against the legislation, thus maintaining these solar mandates, were current Speaker of the House Tim Moore (Cleveland), Jerry Dockham (Davidson), Ruth Samuelson (Mecklenburg), Nelson Dollar ( Wake), Charles Jeter (Mecklenburg), and Linda Johnson (Cabarrus).

Of course, where would we be without lobbyist pushing for these boondoggles.  Many will be surprised to find out that Big Solar has hired republican political consultants and lobbyists to raid the treasury.  Once again, Civitas flushes out their names:

The environmentalists pushing “clean” energy have fashioned a new weapon that can best be described as “Big Solar.” But Big Solar is not a job-growth engine as claimed by lobbyists, it exists only because of government. The major solar corporations, however, have hired the right Republican political consultants and lobbyists in North Carolina to push the narrative to their clients – GOP legislators.

For example, the “Clean Energy” power players in North Carolina include the most powerful and well-connected Republican political consultants.

Paul Shumaker, Partner, Strategic Partners Solutions and President of political consulting firm Capital Communications, Inc. Shumaker boasts as his clients Sen. Richard Burr, Supreme Court Justices Mark Martin and Bob Edmunds, and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. Shumaker served as campaign director for the North Carolina Republican Party from 1985-1987 and worked for former Gov. Jim Martin in both of his successful gubernatorial campaigns.

Dee Stewart, Partner, Strategic Partners Solutions, is also CEO and President of the political consulting firm the Stewart Group, Inc. Stewart was U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry’s chief of staff in 2005 and is currently his chief political advisor. He was the executive director of the Iowa Republican Party during a presidential primary year. According to the Strategic Partners Solutions website, Stewart has worked for dozens of current and former state legislators – all Republicans – including Senate Leader Phil Berger, Sen. Bill Rabon (Brunswick) and Rep. David Lewis (Harnett).

Betsy McCorkle, political consultant to North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (NCCEBA). McCorkleis the director of government affairs for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Alliance (NCSEA) and was formally the Economic Development Program Manager for the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University.

Kristen Laster, Managing Partner, Southern Strategy Group. Laster is also a registered lobbyist with NCSEAand is the treasurer for the NCCEBA PAC.

Scott Laster, Partner, Southern Strategy Group is a registered lobbyist with NCSEA. Laster worked as the house campaign director for the North Carolina Republican Party in 2010. In 2012, he was hired as executive director for the NCGOP.

Other clean energy operatives working to recruit conservatives to Big Solar include:
Mark Fleming, President and CEO of Conservatives for Clean Energy. Formerly, Fleming served as district director for Congressman Patrick McHenry. According to his bio, he also worked as vice president of NCFREE and executive director of the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ivan Urlaub, executive director and registered agent for NCSEA. He was also the registered agent for theNCCEBA.

These power players, and the misnamed “conservative” groups, are all connected to environmental groups who get their funding from some of the most radical and well-funded organizations in the world. A 2014 United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff report, titled “The Chain of Environmental Command – How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA,” described an organization named Sea Change this way:

“Even more unsettling, a dominant organization in this movement is Sea Change Foundation, a private California foundation, which relies on funding from a foreign company with undisclosed donors. In turn, Sea Change funnels tens of millions of dollars to other large but discreet foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics.”

What do you know? We have the same flies, just a different pile of manure.


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