Taxes and regulations are a way for the government to discourage or prevent individuals from doing or attaining certain things. The use of either can create a detrimental shock wave throughout the market. Reacting to the NC Public Utilities Commission’s idea to enact what amounts to a sin tax for utilities customers, Daren Bakst released a Spotlight, arguing against the unethical and illegal proposition. Robert Gruber from the Public Staff of the Utilities Commission attempted to rebut the report on State Government Radio. Daren wasn’t invited to defend his work. However, Asheville’s Matt Mittan extended him the courtesy. Daren also took on the state’s proposed regulations on mercury emissions, which exceed those enacted by the federal government. He provided written comments and presented at the Rules Review Commission questioning the statutory authority for the recently enacted mercury emission regulations for coal-fired power plants. Also of note is a recent push by advocacy groups for a state-run earned income tax credit program to help the working poor. Joe Coletti and John Hood each provided their insights into the misguided idea in local papers.  Joe also spoke with State Government Radio and Matt Mittan on the issue.