Fight Corporate Political Contributions By Supporting Renewable Energy

Richard Perez suggests we fight corporate political contributions to traditional power sources in order to support renewable energy projects.


| August/September 2003



We must fight corporate political contributions to traditional power sources in order to rely on renewable energy instead.

We must fight corporate political contributions to traditional power sources in order to rely on renewable energy instead.


PHOTO: JAMES GRITZ/GETTY IMAGES

Learn how you can fight corporate political contributions and join in activism to stop corporations blocking of renewable energy projects.

It often is said that the United States has the best politicians money can buy: Government and industry have formed a cozy liaison, and this holds particularly true in relation to energy.

Conventional electric power sources, such as coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy, currently receive 10 times more government subsidies than renewable energy (power from the sun, wind and water) receives.

Consider Enron: By making political contributions to candidates running against each other, Enron played both sides of the political fence. No matter who was elected, he or she was beholden to Enron and its energy interests. After the elections, Enron used its political influence and economic power to manipulate energy markets and artificially drive electric power prices sky-high. During the California blackouts of 2000, wholesale electric power prices escalated to more than 100 times their normal rate. Because local utilities couldn't afford to buy this outrageously expensive electricity, power outages ensued. This series of blackouts left California with more than $2 billion in debt.

In response to this type of "energy sharking," in 2001 the citizens of San Francisco voted "yes" to bonds that will fund more than $100 million in solar electric systems to provide clean and reliable electricity for the city. This one simple action will effectively double the number of grid-connected solar systems in San Francisco.

Across the country, citizen activism also has helped to establish net-metering laws in 38 states. These laws enable grid-connected renewable energy users/producers to sell their surplus renewable energy back to their local utility.





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