Still Not Understanding Governance
This has been floating around my inbox for a few weeks because it’s worth noting, but I’m not sure how much there is to say about it:
Saying that the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission is not effectively doing its job of implementing and enforcing reasonable rates for consumers, Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Smithfield) is calling for the disbandment of the commission.
Senator Tassoni said next session he plans to introduce legislation, which is already being drafted, that would disband the PUC and require the commission to be regulated through the General Assembly. …
“Members of the Assembly are elected by their constituents to represent their best interests. However, consumers have no say in who is appointed to the PUC, a body that determines how much they’re going to pay for electricity and natural gas and in many cases, whether they’re going to be able to put food on the table for their families. Our current system just doesn’t make sense. Legislators are the ones who are out in the communities, hearing about how these inflated utility costs are hurting consumers. Therefore, it should be our responsibility to regulate the utility rates that affect our constituents.”
Well, one thing is obvious: Mr. Tassoni could use a seminar on the concept of separation of powers. The PUC is currently appointed by the governor “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” In other words, it is ultimately accountable to voters, but with a degree of separation to prevent economically unfeasible demands from being imposed on the energy industry in the state.
Once again, though, we see the socialist impulse: “Oh, just let me decide!” And all those who agree with the intended outcome (or who drool for a pool of power in which they can strive to dip their hands) pant in agreement.