Electric utilities pour another $3.5M into advertising to confuse the public
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Polls conducted this past week indicate a sharp momentum shift on the anti-solar Amendment 1 ballot initiative in Florida. As public backlash mounts, the electric utility interests funding the deceptively worded amendment have doubled down, reportedly spending another $3.5 million to continue to deceive Floridians.
Civis Analytics conducted a poll from September 29th - October 9th and then again from October 20th-25th, targeting likely voters. The amendment needs 60 percent "yes" votes to amend the Florida Constitution.
• In the first iteration, 73 percent of voters were planning to vote "yes" on Amendment 1 and 13 percent planned to vote "no";
• In the second collection, support for the amendment declined by more than 20 percent, with 51 percent planning to vote "yes" and 38 percent planning to vote "no".
"For months the solar industry has been beating the drum about the dishonesty of Amendment 1 and its devastating impact on jobs, economic growth, and the rights of Floridians to choose their own clean energy sources," said Tom Kimbis, interim president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "Floridians are waking up to the fact they are being deceived and it is absolutely critical - no matter what the poll numbers - that they go to the polls or mail in ballots to say NO to Amendment 1."
The new data shows the result of the Amendment vote is still too close to call, but the efforts from supporters on the ground have made the once impossible, possible.
Bay News 9/News 13 reported last Wednesday that 40 percent of respondents planned to vote yes, 33 percent said no and 26 percent were still undecided. Notable figures including Al Gore, Former Governor Charlie Crist and Jimmy Buffett have come out in opposition, as has every major newspaper in the state.
"There is no greater subsidy that a government can grant than that of a regulated monopoly and with that comes a great responsibility to act ethically and in the best interest of the public," said Justin Hoysradt, CEO of Vinyasun. "These polls show that more and more Floridians are now aware of this great deception, a caper, perpetrated by a monopoly that can no longer be trusted and that is fueling our customers' opposition to Amendment 1."
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.