Bill Description: House Bill 106 would prevent counties and municipalities from prohibiting or restricting certain types of utility connections.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
In recent years, some municipalities across the country have arbitrarily decided to prevent new construction projects from including natural gas connections. This reduces choice for property owners and may also increase energy costs.
House Bill 106 would address this trend by creating two new sections of Idaho Code to say that no "municipality, city," "county, incorporated or unincorporated area, special use district, or any other local government entity of any kind" may "enact or implement any resolution, policy, or ordinance that:
Prohibits, or has the effect of prohibiting, the authorized connection or reconnection of an electric, natural gas, propane, or other energy utility service provided by a public utility, municipality, or cooperative utility;
Restricts, or has the effect of restricting, the source of the electricity, natural gas, propane, or other energy utility service provided by a public utility, municipality, or cooperative utility; or
Requires residents or businesses within the county [or municipality] to use a particular type or generation source of electricity, natural gas, propane, or other fuel."
Preventing local governments from limiting consumer access to certain types of energy reduces further government intervention in the already heavily regulated utility market.
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