George Gibbs Center for Economic Prosperity

Solar Carve Ou⁠t⁠s ⁠i⁠n ⁠t⁠he Sunsh⁠i⁠ne S⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠e

By: The James Madison Institute / 2015

Solar Carve Outs in the Sunshine State Putting Cronyism in the Florida Constitution

By James Taylor Senior Fellow for Environment Policy, The Heartland Institute Senior Fellow, The James Madison Institute

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Over the next 12 months, a battle will be waged in the Sunshine State — over the sunshine itself. Voters in Florida will likely consider at least one, and possibly two amendments to the Florida Constitution that decide whether the solar power industry will be able to write its own rules and make crony capitalism a protected right under the Florida Constitution – for the benefit of the solar power industry alone.

Under one of the proposed amendments, a coalition of solar power advocates operating under the name “Floridians for Solar Choice” (FSC) is attempting to eliminate all competitors to solar power from a segment of electricity sales and permanently embed a monopoly in the Florida Constitution. Their claim? That the solar industry should have a constitutional right to freeze out all competitors and that such a freeze-out advances free markets. These points are obviously contradictory to anyone who understands how the free market should operate.

The FSC exists to: 1. Manipulate the Constitution to create a monopoly 2. Rely on special interest subsidies to offset free-market pricing to remain financially viable 3. Depend on special regulatory treatment to gain advantage over the competition The purpose of this policy brief is to provide an objective analysis of the economics and public policy implications behind the current effort by Floridians for Solar Choice to amend Florida’s Constitution in favor of the solar power industry.

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