Why Are Some Washington State Republicans Acting As If They Were Democrats?

ovrgultnThe GOP recently gained some ground in the Washington State Legislature but those gains won’t last if some members keep siding against energy independence and consumer choice.

House Bill 1097 needlessly increases regulation for rooftop solar. A sure fire way to prevent industry from entering the state and creating meaningful competition is to over-regulate it, and HB 1097 certainly does that. What’s surprising is that some Republicans on the Washington State House Technology and Economic Development Committee actually support this bill, which is one of a number of bills utility monopolies have been pushing across the country to drive their only form of competition out of business.

Rooftop solar represents the first real competition old school utility monopolies have ever faced, and they have been spending millions nationwide to legislate rooftop solar out of business. Utilities have spent nearly a century unchallenged. Instead of adapting to new technology and changing consumer preferences, they’d rather kill the competition.

Utility monopolies across the country have tried to convince lawmakers and regulators to regulate and tax solar in order to protect their profits at the expense of ratepayers. It is crony capitalism and it’s wrong. It also flies in the face of conservative principles. Thankfully, these efforts have failed everywhere.

Sadly, these efforts have reached the State of Washington. Rep. Norma Smith and those who support HB 1097 have forgotten that Republicans are supposed to stand for free markets and competition, and against over-regulation. Siding with government-regulated monopolies in supporting a bill that limits choice and increases prices is blatantly liberal. The Republican party has no room for that kind of support.

One thing is certain, if some Republicans in the Washington State House continue to act like Democrats, the gains made at the ballot box will have been for nothing.

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