The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) just dismissed a controversial petition to end state and local jurisdiction over net metering programs across the nation. The petition was brought by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) and drew massive bipartisan pushback from around the country.
The petition was filed by NERA in April.
More than 450 organizations, 57,000 individuals and 37 states submitted comments opposing the NERA petition that could set a national precedent and end the net metering program that has helped the residential and commercial solar industry to grow over the last decade.
Reports indicate that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Heartland Institute and NERA all have ties to the Koch brothers, who have funded climate denial and pro-fossil fuel campaigns for roughly three decades, according to Pine Tree Watch.
A few weeks ago, Marc Brown, president of NERA, said, “We were not surprised by the level of opposition to the petition, given the vast dependency by the solar energy sector on the ratepayer-financed subsidies of retail net metering.”
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, had a comment on this decision: “As the leader of a coalition of conservative groups, solar advocates, state regulators and elected officials from both sides of aisle in opposition to this petition, SEIA applauds FERC’s unanimous decision to dismiss this flawed petition.”
“Solar has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in states across the country and contributed more than $100 billion to the U.S. economy. Our industry holds great promise to help create jobs and revive local economies. We are grateful to the state utility commissions and many other partners who strongly opposed this petition. We will continue working in the states to strengthen net metering policies to generate more jobs and investment, and we will advocate for fair treatment of solar at FERC where it has jurisdiction.”
“This is a big win for our climate and for communities embracing clean solar power,” said Howard Crystal, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity’s Energy Justice program. “FERC’s unanimous ruling ensures that states can keep appropriately compensating people who install rooftop solar. That allows community solar and other distributed renewables to continue playing a critical role in the urgent transition to clean energy.” Crystal authored a legal intervention filed with FERC on this issue.
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