As for Gooch’s House Bill 227, it would cut by about 70 percent the value of the credits utilities must provide to future solar panel owners for any extra electricity they produce, effectively going from a retail to a wholesale rate. Supporters say the bill is just a matter of fairness, while its critics say it threatens to squash a fledgling solar installation industry in Kentucky and kill hundreds of jobs.
As it turns out, pretty much the same story — tomatoes and all — can be found in the preface of a 2014 legislative playbook of a national, corporate-backed organization that has been working on behalf of big businesses for years, leaving behind a wake of controversy.
Here’s what Americans For Prosperity (another Koch outfit) have to say about Gooch. He’s a “true policy champion” for their raping and pillaging of our state.
“Across our network, the bar has been raised to focus our support on true policy champions which has resulted in supporting less than half the number of candidates than we did in 2016,” McNeill confirmed.
Gooch worked throughout the 2018 session — though in the end unsuccessfully — to eliminate net metering subsidies for private homeowners who install solar panels. Net metering allows the homeowner to sell back — or be credited for on future bills — any excess electricity their solar panels generate.
Gooch and those supporting his legislation say net metering results in other rate payers’ higher bills to subsidize the solar panel owners.
Subsidizing solar panel owners? How so? By favoring customers over the utility monopolies who can demand whatever rate they want because there is no competition? Seems to me what’s good for the Gooch should be good for the gander. I thought you said competition was good! At least it supposedly is for our public schools. Make up your mind!
He’s clearly been at this for awhile now. (At least since 2007.)
So instead, Rep. Gooch invited a British puzzle-maker named Christopher Monckton (who regular DeSmog readers know all to well) and Chris Taylor a lawyer and “senior fellow” at the Exxon-backed “thank you for smoking” Heartland Institute.
Maybe not under ALEC’s influence yet, but certainly with his own conflicts of interest.
And speaking of coal mining (drum-roll please)… Gooch and his brother own a company called West Kentucky Steel Construction Co., which sells mining equipment to Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and other coal companies that would rather see the entire of issue of global warming go away.
Fortunately though, some Kentucky bloggers are taking the issue a little more seriously than House Speaker Richards:
Do you think maybe he realized he was missing out on all those ALEC benefits and that’s why he changed parties? Yeah, he’s now a Republican.
Gooch, who has served in the House since 1995 and chairs the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, released a statement Monday announcing he had changed parties because of the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama on coal and other issues.
“Let my departure from the Democrat Party send a message loud and clear. I stand behind the thousands of Kentuckians who have lost their jobs all across the coalfields,” Gooch, of Providence, said in a statement released Monday.
Mmm hmmm. Sounds like something from McConnell’s playbook. Make us think coal jobs are coming back. Democrats are the enemy to the working man. Blah blah. Spare me.
He becomes the fourth Democrat to leave the House Democratic caucus since the election of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in November. Rep. Denny Butler, of Louisville, announced in November his switch to the Republican Party. And Democratic Reps. John Tilley, of Hopkinsville, and Tanya Pullin, of South Shore, have resigned to accept appointments from Bevin.
Didn’t I mention McConnell had something to do with this?
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Gooch “an outstanding lawmaker.” McConnell said. “The wave of western Kentucky conservatives making the switch to the Republican Party is growing, …” McConnell said.
So, now that you are starting to get it, what can you do about it?
#UnplugTheKochMachine! Vote for Bruce Kunze on Nov. 6.