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Solar Choice reports strongest fundraising numbers to date

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Backers of an amendment that would expand consumer access to solar energy announced Thursday that they bounced back from a slow August to raise nearly $450,000 in last month. The Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC) finance report is not yet available through the state division of elections, though committee officials said the $446,670 they brought in last month put them at $211,701 cash on-hand at the end of the reporting period. The September report easily bests the cumulative $412,000 total…

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Solar amendment advocates to plead their case before Supreme Court

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Advocates for a Florida constitutional amendment to promote solar-generated electricity on Monday said they are confident the proposed language will pass Supreme Court review. Members of Floridians for Solar Choice talked to reporters at Tallahassee’s Florida Press Center. The state Supreme court will hear arguments Tuesday morning to determine whether the amendment’s wording and ballot summary passes legal muster to be placed on the 2016 ballot. Richard Turner, general counsel for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said “21st-century technology is clashing with 20th-century rules…

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Floridians for Solar Choice posts best fundraising to date, $155K in June

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New reports show the political committee backing a proposed amendment to boost access to solar energy posted its best fundraising numbers to date, with nearly $155,000 in contributions in June. Floridians for Solar Choice got $50,000 of the money from the SACE Action Fund, a political committee tied to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Since Floridians for Solar Choice formed in December, SACE Action Fund has contributed $180,000, with another $35,000 coming from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.…

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Strange bedfellows: Conservative solar supporters funded by traditional green groups

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When Debbie Dooley makes a case for solar power, she isn’t falling back on the same old environmental arguments. The Tea Party firebrand from Woodstock, Ga., talks about property rights, national security, and the free market. To Barry Goldwater, Jr., the former Republican congressman, support for solar energy is a conservative stance against power utilities that are trying to “limit energy choice.” Right-leaning pro-solar groups, like those founded by Dooley and Goldwater, might offer evidence – at least in some media…

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Pam Bondi sends solar amendment to Florida Supreme Court

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Attorney General Pam Bondi forwarded to the Florida Supreme Court on Friday a proposed constitutional amendment that would promote solar energy use. Floridians for Solar Choice proposes a constitutional amendment that would promote local, small-scale solar energy production and prohibit barriers to solar energy. The group collected enough petition signatures for Florida Supreme Court review but still needs more than 600,000 to get the measure on the ballot. The Supreme Court reviews the amendment to determine whether it covers a single…

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Cities, utilities say solar customers would get away without paying under proposed amendment

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A proposed solar energy amendment could unfairly shift the cost of maintaining electricity plants and power lines from homes and businesses with solar energy to other utility customers, representatives of cities and electric utilities said Friday. Floridians for Solar Choice proposes a constitutional amendment establishing that the state’s policy is to promote local, small-scale solar energy production and prohibit barriers to solar energy. The group has collected enough petition signatures for review by the Florida Supreme Court but still needs…

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House rejects effort to repeal nuclear power fee

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A House subcommittee unanimously voted to file a Public Service Commission committee bill after rejecting a series of amendments that included repealing a charge allowed for proposed new nuclear plants. The proposed committee bill, EUS 15-01, establishes term limits for commissioners, requires a person who lobbies the PSC Nominating Council to register as a lobbyist and authorizes the governor to remove a PSC member who has violated state ethics laws. The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee voted unanimously to file…

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