A fierce debate has erupted in the utility policy community, with battle lines drawn within FERC itself. In the effort to improve system efficiency, two competing alternatives stand out: to build...
of the California ratepayer worthy of response. In any event, the carefully footnoted balance of Fred's comments show why he is certainly exempt from any tongue-in-cheek 'anathema" aimed at his profession.
There are several points, however, where Fred has drawn implications from my piece ("The Stranded Ratepayer," March 15, 2001, p. 26) that were unintended and which I would like to clarify for the record.
First, I have never been opposed in principle to utilities recovering their stranded investments. My article merely suggested that ratepayers sometimes have very much the same problems in the transition to a deregulatory regime.
Second, I am certainly not unaware of the financial straits of California's utilities. I was only trying to point out that electric generation has now become immensely profitable in contrast to its relatively unrewarding state in the hands of the regulated monopolies.
I am looking forward to renewing this exchange with Fred at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association on August 6, in Chicago, where I will be moderating a roundtable on California's lessons, with Fred as a highly prized participant.
Richard D. Cudahy
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
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