LETTER: On solar, planet comes before profits

To the editor:

The Reuters article on solar power mentions that Debbie Dooley, a Georgia “tea party firebrand,” is supporting solar rights due to property rights, national security and free-market competition (“Advocates for solar power get conservative help,” May 16 Review-Journal). Sadly, she doesn’t mention the earth’s climate, which should be reason No. 1. Conservative outlets such as Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed are also joining the solar cause. Hopefully, climate change deniers are getting the message, too.

If we think about solar energy for the short, intermediate and long term, a mix of wants and needs arise. Short term, billionaire Warren Buffett wants his NV Energy to continue its monopoly and make short- to intermediate-term profits, hoping to raise the price of his stock. The rooftop solar industry, which NV Energy opposes, wants to continue to build and earn while creating jobs.

In the intermediate to long term, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission needs to make sure NV Energy survives, because we all need to have a guaranteed source of energy. However, the PUC does not have the obligation to make sure that Mr. Buffett is further enriched.

And in the long term, there is Earth. NASA and others have determined that a huge ice shelf in Antarctica might melt away by 2020. This could cause havoc for low-lying areas around the world, including Miami and New York.

All of us, conservatives, moderates and liberals alike, need to focus on the long-term future of our planet. Rooftop solar is doing just that, helping wean NV Energy off of all coal and minimize natural gas usage. The PUC plays an important role in siding with the solar industry and in helping NV Energy carefully shrink its business as rooftop solar expands in our sunny valley. Our planet comes first, short-term profits for billionaires last.

GARY MUSSER

LAS VEGAS

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