How a Utility Monopoly Casts a Shadow on Scott Walker’s Reelection Prospects

we energiesWisconsin Governor Scott Walker is in the fight of his political life. He’s survived an onslaught of attacks from Democrats and their left wing friends in the media. And he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for putting Wisconsin’s economic house in order.

But as his reelection draws near he needs to keep an eye on a critical issue: energy choice.

We Energies, a government-regulated monopoly utility in Wisconsin, wants to tax customers who use rooftop solar. That’s a bad idea, and it’s antithetical to core Republican beliefs. Rooftop solar gives customers market choices for where they can buy electricity. As a nation, it gives us all energy independence and freedom.

If We Energies can convince regulators to tax solar customers, the result would be to drive the emerging rooftop solar market, with its incredible job-creating potential, out of Wisconsin. That would be a victory for antiquated monopolies and a loss for the people of Wisconsin.

As a conservative, Governor Walker should be against any new taxes. Sadly, he has been silent on the issue. Given how close the governor’s race is in Wisconsin, if Governor Walker doesn’t take a stand against a new tax on solar energy, the result would be to drive a conservative champion from the governor’s office. That would be a victory for the liberal left and a loss for the people of Wisconsin.

Voters in Wisconsin have already sent more than 1300 public comments to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. In an election where every vote counts, Governor Walker needs to stand with consumers and stand against a tax hike being championed by a government regulated monopoly.

Like it or not, Walker has a dog in this fight. He appointed two out of three of the current Public Service Commissioners in Wisconsin. These three officials will make the final call on whether to promote free market competition or stifle a new industry and thousands of potential jobs.

If that tax on solar is approved, it’s a safe bet Walker’s opponents will blame him. Walker must serve the public by opposing the solar tax. It’s not only the smart thing to do; it’s the right thing to do.

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