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Since the day the John Locke Foundation opened its doors two decades ago it’s stood steadfast for free markets and steadfast against government regulations but then the unexpected happened: Its two perfectly reasonable abstract principles collided head-on and suddenly the Locke folks found themselves quoting an English Lord named Christopher Monckton who’d once claimed he’d found the cures to multiple sclerosis and influenza – because he’d also said shutting down solar farms could be more expensive than shutting down a nuclear reactor.

They’d started out with the best of intentions saying they wanted the free market to set the price of solar electricity and that the government regulations requiring Duke Energy to buy a fraction of its electricity from solar companies should be abolished – which all sounded fine.

And logical.

Until they hit a submerged rock.

Because there is no free market for electricity.

There’s just one monopoly called Duke Energy.

And when they abolished the regulations (limiting the monopoly’s power) they’d given it free rein to put the only other people producing electricity out of business – so while steadfastly pursing two perfectly sound principles they’d ended up weakening the free market and strengthening the monopoly and quoting a crazy English Lord.

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