Capitalism Fights The State for Clean Energy

Solar Panels harvest the energy of Capitalism.

Without government the corporations will pollute the world. 

The mere thought of a stateless society terrifies some. The reason isn’t roads, utilities, or even emergency services. These people are terrified that without the state, industry would pollute the earth to a point that it is unlivable.

Through 2014 and into 2015 NV Energy imposed fees and rate-pay caps on people who had installed solar panels on their homes and businesses in Nevada. 1 I am not arguing that NV Energy should not be able to do this, nor am I saying I approve of it. NV Energy is a state enforced monopoly, as most utility companies are. With that they are immune to the capitalistic sway of competition. Their customers rely on their government representation to negotiate their grievances with the company. The only form of competition they experience is contract negotiations. This system is flawed, but most accept it.

Enter the trusty Nevada residents who want to leave the grid. The solar regulations imposed on them after they had already invested a substantial amount of capital into clean energy via the free market (with government subsidy in some cases) are placing them in financial ruin. People chose the free market to relieve them of the economic burden of a state-mandated utility monopoly, and are now unable to get a return on investment. My first thought was “why don’t they just cancel their services with NV Energy?” but then I recalled an interesting story in Florida of a hippie woman trying to live off the grid. 2 Her story is anecdotal but brings us to our point. The residents of NV who wish to cut off their access to the power grid must pay hefty cancellation fees, and pass through state inspections that determine whether their energy supply meets code.

You might be asking yourself, what if you go off the grid without the fees and inspections. The answer is simple, the utilities keep sending you bills after they cut off your power from the grid. You will soon find a sheet of paper on your home declaring it unfit for habitation. Police will escort you out of your own property. Why? Because for one reason or another you chose clean and affordable energy for your home and with that independence you took money from the state and the businesses they saw fit to empower. This is unethical, and entirely symptomatic of a state-capitalist society. Next time a self proclaimed socialist tells you that the free market will pollute the earth, remind them that socialism is polluting Nevada.

Notes:

  1. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/may/25/nv-energy-fights-rooftop-solar-cutting-into-profit/
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-07-10/off-the-grid-in-florida-robin-speronis-fights-municipal-code

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