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Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 1995

back to Sen. Johnston's question. If members of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) choose to implement policies that raise the price of electricity to their consumers, then let them do so. California policies should not concern any member of the U.S. Senate, with the possible exceptions of Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Where is it written that Washington must protect utility ratepayers from excessive costs?

If anything, recent history has shown that Congress is particularly ineffective when it comes to making fuel-choice decisions for the utility industry that result in net savings to ratepayers. If the decisions of the CPUC bother the ratepayers of California, they have the ability to effect a change in policy in a timely fashion. My colleagues on the various state commissions should be given every tool possible to deal with the unique circumstances presented by their state's social and economic demographics. Let's allow states to stand or fall on the basis of their own decisions, not choke on misguided federal policies. t

Cody L. Graves is chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.


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