For those interested in the debate over North Carolina’s energy policy…

…here’s an animated summary.

The solar energy industry likes to impress the media and legislators with tales of how it’s like

angry superman

which they are somehow proud to admit is only because of government policies, such as investment tax credits and the steadily rising REPS purchase mandate. Taken together, their state and federal investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation add up to, well … one hundred percent.

dr evil hundred

Plus they get a captive consumer base who by law have no choice over who sells them electricity from whom and for how much:

captive girl RR tracks

Which means this mighty industry is actually more like

superman wires

In fact, if you think about it, it’s really closer to

coma patient

They know this, and despite years of promises of being able to stand on their own someday, they know that without all this government support, they’d just

bridge collapse

Which is why any time there is even talk of a change, however minor, to this massive government edifice of tax credits, purchase mandates, and other industry props, they react like

fainting

and

wendy shining terrified

But the media, who like to view themselves as

gromit guard dog

when it comes to politicians being corrupted by cronyism and giving special treatment to prop up Big Business, are too busy being

70s show cheerleaders

for this particular big business. Why? Because they have bought into the industry’s empirically false propaganda that solar is so much better for the planet

sylvester halo

that it is therefore above criticism. So the media instead fight to protect the corrupt cronies from the forces of evil, the ones they call “special interests,” who are of course ordinary people; i.e., the captive ratepayers/taxpayers

moriarty ordinary people

whose “special interest” is in not being taken advantage of as taxpayers and ratepayers to benefit the big business.

It’s gotten so topsy-turvy that when other big businesses and corporate cronies taking advantage of these giveaways come out in favor of the giveaways they’re getting  — surprise, surprise, surprise! —

gomer surprise

the now-tamed media are all

see nothing

and make it so they aren’t disgusted or outraged by the clamorous cronies

nemo mine seagulls

constantly berating legislators with their petitions, laughably misleading reports, demands, threats, lobbyists, more laughably misleading reports, and other rent-seeking antics on the hope that the principled legislators there will eventually fold.

ryan quits

Meanwhile, captive ratepayers/taxpayers can only hope that the legislature will grow tired of this annual spectacle and tell them what any unsustainable industry with a high-powered lobby needs to be told:

willy wonka get nothing

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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