Net Metering, Trumped Utahns and Transparency, Please | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Net Metering, Trumped Utahns and Transparency, Please 

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Net Metering
Wow, money does drive everything, doesn't it? Ever since Rocky Mountain Power suggested a rate hike because of the evil specter of solar power, customers have been signing up for net metering in droves, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Apparently, even people considering solar are signing up in anticipation or fear. Net metering credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. Customers are only billed for their net energy use. RMP has been whining about how unfair it all is, but an MIT report last year suggested ditching net metering because cost-shifting is controversial and results in a pushback against residential customers. No duh. Other studies say the opposite, and a Dan Jones survey showed most Utahns are against raising rates for solar. The Public Service Commission has put off a decision so that stakeholders can hammer out an agreement. Maybe Robert Redford's Time magazine piece helped by calling utilities aggressive and irresponsible.

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Trumped Utahns
The nation is all a-twitter over the prospect of a new "conservative" Supreme Court justice. It can make you either giddy or aghast. Utahns shivered with excitement when the right-ish Washington Examiner came out with a story on which of @realDonaldTrump's picks are "more Scalia-like." It's not just the prospect of a friendly justice, but the idea that one of our own is on the shortlist. That Utahn is Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, because—you know—making America Great Again is all about "orginalism." His brother Sen. Mike Lee calls him a rock star and notes an obsession with disco. Given Trump's delight at teasing Utah hopefuls, there's no certainty that Lee will be chosen, but disco would certainly take us back in time.

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Transparency, Please
There was plenty of news about Cody Brotherson, the officer killed in the line of duty. "But almost nothing is known about those accused of killing him," wrote Deseret News reporter McKenzie Romero. She and a coalition of media are setting out to change that because it's not just one case. Juvenile records in Utah are presumed open but are in reality closed unless you have ESP. Judges and the district attorney seem eager to close cases from public view, although the public has a clear interest that goes well beyond prying into private matters. Most news outlets do not publish juvenile names, but the details of any crime are vital to public safety and understanding. In an age of false news and innuendo, we should all strive for truth and transparency.

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