Here is John Abrams of the South Mountain Company, a housing and energy design-build firm and someone with progressive, i.e., left-leaning, politics, complaining to Governor Deval Patrick, Democrat of Massachusetts, about senseless government regulation:
I said the solar industry is booming in MA due to very progressive state policies and incentives, and thanked him for that. "But," I said, "there are several potentially crippling obstacles that need immediate change. One is the state Fire Marshal's ruling that only licensed electricians can install solar systems. This makes no sense. Electricians don't build buildings or bridges, they don't install signs and billboards, they just do the electrical part. This ruling has the potential to cut out the people who built the industry and decrease quality to boot."
One can see how it might be good for the licensed electricians, though. And how the fire marshal — whose priority is fire safety, not job creation or energy efficiency — might see it differently, knowing that after any fire from a solar system installed by a non-licensed electrician, even if there's only one deadly fire in a million installations, the blame will come back to him.
Relatedly, a post here from July had Vermont's self-described socialist senator, Bernie Sanders, complaining that "obstacles to acquiring local permits add up to $2,500 to the cost of a typical residential solar installation."
The entire situation is a fine example of how regulation can act to slow innovation, frustrating not only free-market types like me but also those on the left who want to change the status quo.