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Flashpoint Congress

This year, or next, legislators will close in on a national energy bill.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 15 2002

the act," the commission says, "would eliminate regulatory restrictions that prohibit utility holding companies from owning utilities in different parts of the country and that prevent non-utility businesses from acquiring regulated utilities. In particular, repeal of the restrictions of geographic scope and other businesses would remove the impediments … to capital flowing into the industry from sources outside the existing utility industry."

Caren Byrd, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, best captures the argument for PUHCA repeal:

"PUHCA," she says, "has kept out many players, including the international players and the oil majors. It has barred some mergers that might have made sense to investors and analysts."

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