Conservative Solar Voice Urges West Virginia Governor To Support Energy Choice & Independence

BarryGoldwaterJr1American Electric Power and FirstEnergy  have been trying to leverage their positions as monopolies to drive rooftop solar out of West Virginia. The goal is to force a private sector competitor out of the market. What’s worse, the monopolies are turning to the government to do their bidding.

These monopolies have misled West Virginia lawmakers about the language in House Bill 2201. If Governor Earl Tomblin signs HB 2201, he would saddle hundreds of West Virginia families, churches, and businesses that have invested private capital in rooftop solar with new fees.  At the same time, FirstEnergy is raising rates on its Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers.

“The utilities are fighting tooth and nail to eliminate competition while also raising rates for their customers,” said Barry Goldwater Jr., Chairman of TUSK. “When will it be enough?  These monopolies are hurting consumers and West Virginia’s economy by increasing rates and pushing new fees through HB 2201.”

TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed) was formed to advocate for rooftop solar power from a conservative point of view. It’s a logical argument when you consider that rooftop solar brings private sector competition to the residential electricity market, which reduces costs and creates jobs.

Hundreds of consumers wrote to their legislators in support of rooftop solar during the utilities’ first and second round of attacks. This third utility attack on freedom of energy choice uses deceptive language in HB 2201 to impose punitive fees on existing solar customers, and on any West Virginian who wants to go solar in the future. Thousands of West Virginia voters continue to stand strong for choice and competition in the energy market and continue to flood the Governor’s office with letters asking him to preserve net metering and energy choice.  

Goldwater is hoping Governor Tomblin will do the conservative thing and veto HB2201.

“I urge Governor Tomblin to protect private investment and veto HB 2201,” added Goldwater, Jr.  “West Virginians who have improved their homes and businesses by investing hard-earned money in solar should be applauded, not punished, with punitive fees.”   

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