Utilities make power grab

Keywords Opinion

Across the country we have witnessed utility crusades to stomp out competition from rooftop solar. Now, in Indiana, we see an unprecedented attack by utility companies like AEP, Duke and Vectren to maintain their monopoly status.

The monopolies tried to dupe legislators and citizens with false claims about a bill they actually designed to kill the rooftop solar industry. House Bill 1320 was a direct utility power grab, an attack on conservative values that would keep consumers beholden to utilities.

Last week, legislators listened to Hoosier opposition and halted the bill in the House, but conservatives like me who support solar competition remain vigilant as the legislative session continues.

Conservatives do not and will not stand for anti-competitive power grabs or government overreach. The national conversation about solar ties to our conservative principles of competition and choice. Competition spurs great American businesses to innovate and empowers the American people to control costs. It is without question that solar choice, like school choice and health care choice, aligns with core conservative principles.

Rooftop solar is the greatest competitor utilities have ever known. Unwilling to compete, utilities only have deception left, disguising their anti-solar legislation, such as HB 1320, in an attempt to win consumer support. The utilities’ legislation was nothing more than a campaign to create severe market barriers that paralyze free-market enterprise.

Hoosiers stand for competition and individual freedoms, including the right to put solar on their rooftops. Solar now employs one in 78 Americans, and that growth will continue. Indiana is poised to benefit from local, well-paying solar jobs if it maintains pro-business policies.

In the face of monopoly deception, let us turn toward our guiding principles of competition and choice to reject utility attacks like HB 1320, liberate the energy market from the utilities’ grasp, and unleash solar’s potential for Indiana.

Barry M. Goldwater Jr., chairman,
Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed (TUSK)
Phoenix, Arizona

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