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Changing the Game

Why did Michigan cap competition?

Fortnightly Magazine - February 2010

favor a market structure that lets ratepayers reap the rewards. But in a troubled economy, the opposite is true. “In a scary environment, the upside of risk becomes less valuable than the comfort of reliability in service and stability in the industry,” Baumann says.

Michigan’s lawmakers seem unlikely to overcome the basic conflict between the costs and rewards of risk any time soon, particularly with the state’s difficult economic outlook. As a result, Michigan’s power market continues to be defined more by compromises and contradictions than it does by competition.