Fossil fuel industry's sneaky fight against solar

The fossil fuel industry is waging a sneaky fight against solar power.

Anyone tuned into CNN on Tuesday night heard the five Democratic presidential hopefuls talk a lot about climate change. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said climate change is the greatest threat to our national security. Former Gov. Martin O'Malley talked about a much-needed "green energy revolution" and a 100 percent clean energy electric grid.

What the candidates didn't mention is that a national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel industry-funded think tanks is providing funding, model legislation, and political cover for anti-solar campaigns across the country, at the expense of would-be solar customers.

According to a new report by Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, "Blocking the Sun," trade groups like the Edison Electric Institute have been working hand in hand with groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and some major utilities to repeal renewable electricity standards and back anti-solar candidates in states across the country.

To ensure solar energy continues to grow in Maryland — where the renewable source has nearly doubled since 2012 — we need our leaders like Gov. Larry Hogan to resist these shady tactics. By extending the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy at the federal level and increasing Maryland's renewable energy standard, our political leaders can set us on the path for a bright future powered by solar energy.

David Beavers, Baltimore

The writer is a campaign organizer for Environment Maryland.

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