Solar Says No on Measure B in Los Angeles

27 Feb

It’s called Measure B, and if you know there’s a Measure B on the ballot this year, then you’re up to date. It’s the Largest Solar Plan in U.S. history and there are no details, they don’t exist. The measure is so undecided, it managed to get on the ballot three weeks after it was introduced without a complete definition much less a public forum or debate. The basic plan is the LADWP isgreen-vote going to install 400 MW of solar by 2010, sounds great, but No on Measure B supporters argue it could go in many directions. It could create a solar monopoly in LA wherein, the LADWP would own the solar electric systems on non-governmental roofs, i.e. homes and businesses and only LADWP employees could do the installations (which would mean Green Jobs for them), stifling the entire solar market in the area, and fixing the installation price to what a utility company sees fit.

If you were going to start a business, in order to get funding for your project you’d have to have a business plan. Say you said you want to start a solar business, without details, I doubt any environmentalist would be opposed (especially one that’s not going to back you financially), but without a business plan, could you get the support you need to get started from a bank? Measure B is trying to get the funding before they do the planning. It’s simply irresponsible in business and irrespondsible in politics.

When Prop 7 was on the ballot in November, (and there are some similarities between the two) it was well written out, but when environmental groups looked beyond the concept and saw the flaw in the details. Californians were made aware of the flaws and came out in strong support against it. Should we pass Measure B and cross our fingers that the utility company doesn’t use the loop holes to create a monopoly?

California Green Designs would love to support a well thought out Solar Incentive that could dub Los Angeles the Solar City, but it would need to be joint venture. It would require thorough planning by all the parties involved, including residents and not just a draft from the union LADWP workers belong to, before it went up for approval by the public at large.

Vote No on Measure B

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