America was founded on the principles of liberty and independence. People fled to America for the right to live and worship in freedom. Many lives were lost in that endeavor, and we as a nation should forever be grateful for those who sacrificed for the freedom and liberty which we enjoy today.
One way we can show our gratitude for our freedoms is to continue to defend them, so those who gave their lives did not sacrifice in vain. To let our liberty and independence be eroded is to shun the sacrifices made, and disrespect the memories of those who paved the way.
Here in Arizona, some are fighting to discourage and punish those who wish to have independence, and in particular, energy independence. We have long enjoyed the right to produce our own goods; whether it’s growing a garden, raising animals, or building our home. Today, there are also opportunities to not only produce our own power, but to strengthen our nation’s independence from globally priced fuels.
Across the state, and our nation, Americans are making the choice to power their homes with residential solar, and leasing their land to developers who produce utility scale wind and solar power. Instead of sending their money overseas, often to countries that wish us harm, these patriots are keeping their dollars here in America. The power they are producing does not require American troops to defend our access to it. It is not subject to fluctuating costs because of global conflict. It is local, it is affordable, it is reliable, and it is creating independence.
In the weeks ahead, the Arizona Corporation Commission is being asked to vote on whether to punish those who invest in rooftop solar, by imposing burdensome fees on them, and by giving them an unfair rate of return on the power that they return to the grid. This policy would put more than 7,000 Arizonans at risk of losing their jobs. It would also harm tens of thousands of Arizona homeowners and small business who couldn’t utilize their property without being limited by burdensome government regulations. To support this position would be to fly in the face of the independence upon which this nation was founded.
Thomas Paine once said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” Our independence is often stripped under cover of darkness, and it is our responsibility to shed light on attempts to undermine that independence. Thanks to another freedom which we enjoy, the freedom of the press, we are able to shed light on the attempts by some to have the Arizona Corporation Commission discourage our independence. It is our hope that the commission will resist those calls, and side with those who wish to exercise the rights that we all acquired with the founding of this great nation.
— Keith den Hollander is the regional director for the Christian Coalition.
The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.