W.Va. Public Service Commission overregulates

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: “No other state regulates (name regulated industry here) as extensively as West Virginia.”

Now that’s a shocker.

The experts who did the efficiency audit for the state school system reported that they had found no other state had a more statutorily regulated school system than West Virginia.

The state’s 325 municipalities are so highly regulated that, outside of the 20 fortunate cities selected for the limited home rule program, they can’t issue building citations, raise their own taxes or perform many other government functions that cities in other states have the freedom to do.

And this week comes the testimony before a joint legislative committee that West Virginia stands out among the 50 states for the scope of its regulation of publicly owned water and sewer utilities.

 “The regulatory burden on publicly owned water and sewer utilities in West Virginia appears likely to disadvantage state residents in receipt of reasonably priced and quality utility services,” said the report.

In other words, the state so overregulates and inhibits government owned water utilities from recovering their costs and raising money that the utilities’ infrastructure — along with their water service to customers — is deteriorating.

What is it with West Virginia that the state feels it has to micromanage every decision and every aspect of every public entity in the state?…

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