ThinkProgress Does Bidding of Energy Rentseekers

The activists journalists over at ThinkProgress are doing their part to attack Governor Larry Hogan over his commonsense decision to veto legislation that would increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Governor Hogan vetoed SB 921/HB 1106 because the increased cost of energy would have amounted to a tax increase on middle and working class Marylanders. As the Governor’s veto letter notes:

The legislation is a tax increase that will be levied upon every single electricity ratepayer in Maryland and for that reason alone. I cannot allow it to become law. Specifically, Senate Bill 921 will impose a tax increase of between $49 million to $196 million by 2020 in order to fund the proposed increase in the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) compliance.

The goal is Senate Bill 921 to increase the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 25% by 2020 is laudable, but increasing taxes to achieve this goal is the wrong approach.

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Maryland’s Democrats knew this, but passed the bill anyway.

That of course did not stop ThinkProgress “reporter” Samantha Page from writing what basically amounted to a press release for Delegate Bill Frick and for rent-seeking groups seeking to benefit from the largess doled out by the Democrats.

The problems with the piece, of course, start with the headline: “Job Losses Expected As Maryland Governor Stuns Solar Industry With Clean Energy Veto.” The headline is cute, except for the fact that not one shred of evidence of that point is provided in the entire piece. Sure, there is fear mongering from Frick, and a graphic from the Solar Energy Industries Association (who of course wouldn’t benefit at all from such a tax increase, no sir). The entirety of the “evidence” is tied up in this quote:

“This veto puts thousands of solar jobs and hundreds of local companies at risk,” Omar Terrie, Policy Director for the local industry group MDV-SEIA, said in a statement. “Moreover, this veto endangers the livelihood of thousands of Marylanders and will stall millions in economic investment.”

So yes, the one shred of evidence provided is the fact that the Policy Director for the local trade association that backs these bills may get less transfers of wealth from taxapyers to their pockets. I can see why that’s important to them, but it isn’t anything that one could consider “evidence.”

Page, the climate sector publicist reporter for this piece of course could not bother to educate herself on the facts of the Renewable Portfolio Standard and its history here in Maryland, something that we of course have been covering at Red Maryland for years. Page probably didn’t know that

Page also doesn’t pay much credence to a Beacon Hill Institute report (which we wrote about here) which pointed out that the RPS would:

  • Lower employment by an expected 3,395 jobs
  • Reduce real disposable income by $518 million
  • Decrease investment by $67 million
  • Increase the average household electricity bill by $75 per year; commercial businesses by an expected $815 per year; and industrial businesses by an expected $4,185 per year.

These are all real costs that taxpayers have already been subjected to that Page finds inconsequential to report on, deciding only to regurgitate the talking points provided to her by Democrats and by the rentseeking interest groups who are mad that Governor Hogan is not in the business of raising taxes to hand out to special interest groups.

It’s worth noting that Page has virtually no experience writing about Maryland politics, having written only once before the ridiculous fracking ban in Prince George’s County. However it is worth noting that her Editor over at ThinkProgress is noted gutless hacktivist Judd Legum, who catastrophically failed as a Democratic candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010 despite selling himself to the highest bidder and actively supporting violent thugs engaged in intimidation of political opponents.

Samantha Page tries mightily to make a progressive case against Governor Hogan’s veto. However, all she’s really done is lay bare the biases of ThinkProgress and the rentseekers that they support. As always the issue at hand is never supporting the environment; it’s the transfer of wealth from middle and working-class Maryland families to crony capitalists who want to profit at taxpayers expense. That fact should tell you everything you need to know about the wisdom of Governor Hogan’s veto.

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