I’ve been practicing law now for in excess of twenty years. Oftentimes, my regular clients will call me as we approach election time to ask me about different amendments that are being voted on in the next ballot measure. I’d like to talk to you about one I’m getting quite a few phone calls about, and that’s the Solar Power Initiative. That’s Amendment 1 that will be on your ballot. Now it’s being sold by most people or those people that pay large sums of money to get it on the ballot, as a way to preserve the individual’s right to gain access to solar energy. I’m a big fan of solar, in fact, I even love electric cars so much I bought one. Haven’t driven in a gasoline powered car for years. Love it. But here’s the thing. This initiative has been sponsored by a number of large polluters who are trying to preserve not the right to gain access to solar energy, but who are trying to preserve their own interests to control it later. Specifically, let’s look at some of the people—at the companies that have put up enormous sums of money to get solar energy on the ballot. Specifically, the Tampa Electric Company, Gulf Power Company, Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy. Ask yourself if there’s anything that Florida Power and Light Company and Duke Energy agree on, you should be suspicious. The reason is by putting this as a constitutional matter, what they’re doing is they’re taking solar energy and making it a constitutional issue. That means that whatever rights they have right now to regulate both clean and non-clean forms of energy will be retained by the people who are sponsoring this initiative. It’s one of the reasons why a majority of the publications editorial boards in the state of Florida have come out against Amendment 1. Here’s the rough thing for most people like you and for me. I’d love to see more solar power, and when I see a solar power initiative on the ballot, I immediately assume it’s going to be good for me and other people in the community. The reality is that’s not what it is at all. My recommendation to you and to the people that have called me – vote no on Amendment 1. We need an initiative that will preserve not the rights of the big polluters but the rights of individuals like us to gain access to it to preserve the interests of the environment. If you have more questions about Amendment 1, or any of the other amendments, go to our website or just give me a call. Be well.
December 13, 2016