WHAT I STAND FOR
I stand for the citizens of Alabama. I love Alabama, and I love the people who call this place home. It's upsetting that our beautiful state sits at the bottom of the list in areas like Economic Opportunity, Household Income, Education, and Health Care. I want to change this.
I want to lower your bills. We all rely on utilities to keep our households and businesses running. But so many of our citizens struggle financially, having to choose between keeping the lights on and putting food on the table. We should not be paying more than what is equitable.
I call for true transparency and full public participation when it comes to setting utility rates. As the regulatory body overseeing rate-setting for utility companies, the Public Service Commission's job is to ensure that rate payers are not overcharged for the services they rely on. How can we be sure that rates are fair if they're being set behind closed doors? I want to open those doors and bring meaningful public participation to the rate setting process in Alabama, to ensure that the citizens are being charged fairly.
Public Regulatory Hearings are essential, if we want true transparency. These hearings will allow citizens to participate in the rate setting process and expose the utilities' economic analyses to the public, allowing for more involvement in planning for the future. Most states have some type of open rate-setting process, including all of our bordering neighbors here in the Southeast. It's time we get on board.
A PATH TO CLEAN ENERGY
It is time to embrace solar energy. Our sunny state has some of the best solar potential in the nation. Yet, we rank #24 for solar industry strength and #49 for solar-friendliness. I want to tear down the barriers currently upheld by the PSC, in order to allow solar to thrive in Alabama. We must remove the solar tariff, which penalizes individuals who choose to install rooftop solar. Instead, we should award tax credits to those who wish to be on the forefront of utilizing this clean energy source.
The solar energy industry across the nation is booming. Alabama is so far behind in adopting solar, that we are losing good jobs to neighbors such as Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and North Carolina. We have the opportunity to invest in thousands of new jobs across Alabama. If we facilitate the adoption of more solar, and support apprenticeship programs, workers in the dwindling coal industry will have somewhere to turn. Alabama's solar industry would require engineers, solar installers, construction workers, accountants, and administrative professionals.
Embracing solar would also make our state a better place to do business, attracting progressive companies, enhancing economic development, and thereby creating even more jobs.