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A Low-Voltage Energy Bill

While a few provisions are worth embracing, most of its 1,724 pages represent a waste of good timber.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2005

upon the industry, and the interventions they embrace are internally inconsistent.

While we can blame voters for their vague understanding of energy markets that allows members of Congress to play their diffuse-cost, concentrated-benefit games, some blame should be placed at the doorstep of industry itself. The electricity sector spends less time educating lawmakers than it does securing favors and advantages for itself. The industry can scarcely bemoan a lack of political leadership in Washington when it exhibits little of its own.

 

Endnotes:

  1. Douglas Hale, Thomas Overbye, and Thomas Leckey, “Competition Requires Transmission Capacity: The Case of the U.S. Northeast,”
    Regulation 23, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 40-45. The authors use optimal power flow analysis to demonstrate that small additions to the grid in the Northeast would lower prices for consumers across several states.

  2. Peter Van Doren and Jerry Taylor, “Rethinking Electricity Restructuring” Cato Institute Policy Analysis, no. 530 (November 30, 2004)

  3. Gary D. Libecap and James L. Smith, “Regulatory Remedies to the Common Pool: The Limits to Oil Field Unitization,” The Energy  Journal 22, no. 1 (January 2001): 1-26.

  4. Tim Brennan, “Questioning the Conventional Wisdom,” Regulation 24, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 65-66.

  5. U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force,  Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations , April 2004, p. 17,  https://reports.energy.gov/.

  6. U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force, Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations , April 2004, p. 59, https://reports.energy.gov/.

  7. Ibid.

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