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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Solar-power bill despised by utilities and electric co-ops ain't dead yet

Last week, CL's editorial board lamented the sad reality that state lawmakers would probably cave in to utility's lobbyists pleas and ensure that Senate Bill 401, which would make it easier for homeowners and businesses to finance the installation of solar panels on their property, go nowhere. Looks like the bill's sponsor, Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, has a plan to prevent that from happening. Writes Errin Haines of the Associated Press:

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle assigned the bill to the Natural Resources Committee two weeks ago, but it has not been scheduled for a hearing. Sen. Buddy Carter has attached the legislation as a substitute to another bill that falls under the same section of state law scheduled to be heard by the Regulated Utilities and Industry Committee on Thursday.

"I requested it to be in that committee initially," Carter said. "I've been told that it wouldn't be coming up in Natural Resources. In fact, that was the reason it was put in that committee."

Natural Resources Chairman Ross Tolleson has said lawmakers may need more time to study the proposal. Carter said moving the bill will give the proposal the best chance to be heard during this legislative session.

Keep your eyes on this legislation, which enjoys a lot of support but faces an uphill battle against Georgia Power and electric co-op lobbyists.

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