Freedom is Charging People Who Generate Their Own Power

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is on a roll. After signing a bill into law that prohibits cities from passing their own minimum wage laws, she is expected to sign a bill that will charge a monthly fee for generating your own power.

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

Proponents of the law say they’re “just trying to keep it fair” by imposing the fee which will “recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity” back to the grid.

If you live somewhere that has dealt with any form of natural disaster that cuts power for extended periods of time, you’d know that power companies already raise rates at their discretion to recover the cost of infrastructure.

And who are they ‘keeping it fair’ for? Power companies? Because obviously they need all the protection they can get.

I suppose it’s far more politically acceptable in Oklahoma to charge people who generate their own power a monthly fee instead of raising taxes on something more sensible like sugary drinks.

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  • kushiro -

    There is a person in my extended family who is an engineer working for a power company. One time we were talking about increasing energy demands, and I mentioned the fact that in some areas, people who have solar power systems can sell their excess back to the grid. He replied that he thought that was a terrible idea, and that anyone who generates their own power that way should be refused service when they can’t meet their energy needs by themselves (e.g. on cloudy days, during winter, etc.).

    I could not believe what I was hearing.

  • Henry_Moody

    Un-f***ing real!!

    You’re damn right about power companies losing NOTHING when they have to rebuild infrastructure. Hell, Sempra in California passed on the MILLIONS they had to pay after losing a law suit because they were responsible for the fires in 2007. “Awww, shit! MASSIVE multi-million dollar judgement against us! RATE HIKE!”

    What IS the prize for most batshit state in the country. Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma…there seems to be a lot of competition. Must be one hell of a reward.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Oklahoma is a relatively late entry compared to Flori-duh and Arizona, but Gov. Fallin is definitely putting in a valiant effort.

      • Sabyen91

        Oklahoma is quietly insane. They are the reddest state in America and have been for a long time. They may not broadcast it but they are definitely the worst.

  • D_C_Wilson

    They’re just dropping all pretense that they’re working for the best interest of the people, aren’t they?

  • waspuppet

    “And who are they ‘keeping it fair’ for?”

    They don’t even know. It’s just what they say when even they know they’ve said “It’s about freedom” too many times in a row.

    • Christopher Foxx

      They’ve had no idea what ehy mean for years now.

  • Draxiar

    Generating your own power? Can’t have that! Their buddies in oil and coal might have competition!

  • Joseph Running III

    I live in Oklahoma. I can assure you that Oklahoma is well on its way to being worse-than-Florida.
    This is, number one, a give-away to the power companies. They already pay nearly zero in taxes, so this is a blatant cash grab.
    The second is unreported: this is a poke in the eye to environmentalists, the green industry, and those wishing to do something about climate change due to global warming. You’re all familiar with Inhofe being in the energy companies’ pockets? It’s not just Inhofe.

    • ninjaf

      I am surprised someone hasn’t proposed tax credits and free bumper stickers for gas guzzling SUVs just to encourage some “F**k you!” to those concerned about climate change.

  • Dr. Luis Contreras

    This
    is awesome. No, I don’t work for AEP. We are opposing an unnecessary 50 mile 345
    kV transmission line, the second leg of a 345 kV around AR and MO. To oppose
    the line, we installed last year, in a single day, 22 panels to make 75% of our
    consumption. I will start an online petition today and post the link here. How can
    anyone agree with ignorance and arrogance? Thank you OK governor!

  • Dr. Luis Contreras

    Done, we now have an online petition asking Gov. Fallin to veto the crazy bill, Please join
    and share this link: http://tinyurl.com/ZeroFeeOK