New technologies—and new expectations—require taking a fresh look at the institutions and practices that have provided reliable electricity for the past century. Collective action is needed to...
from reliable competitively priced electricity, and from inflow of equity capital to replace high-cost government debt.
Anxious to face elections, Ontario's and Quebec's Premiers have been reluctant to embark upon breaking up and privatizing their state electricity monoliths. But a combination of natural and man-made disasters is forcing their hand. And they shouldn't hesitate before the Clinton Administration moves forward on the rumored privatization of federal power agencies like Bonneville Power Authority and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The time has come for the Premiers of Canada's two most populous provinces finally to treat their constituents as consumers with choices, not as captive spectators of grand financial maneuvers or socioeconomic schemes.
Robert Blohm is a dual U.S./Canadian citizen, adviser to the staff of the North American Electric Reliability Council and former adviser to the Macdonald Committee on Competition in Ontario's Electricity System. He is a planning committee member of the Consumer Energy Council of America/Research Foundation's Convergence Forum.
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