John Anderson is jumping out of his shoes. And his socks, too. His group, the Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON, where Anderson serves as executive director) may at last get its way.During a few weeks in October, a good half-dozen energy industry players (em including utilities and regulators (em came out in favor of customer choice for electric and gas service. So, when I saw Anderson at the podium in early November at a symposium on electric transmission, outlining a host of recent competitive initiatives, he seemed barely able to restrain himself. After all, during the past few years ELCON has led the push for retail wheeling, advocating free choice for customers in buying utility services.
Granted, ELCON members are a well-heeled lot. Numbering 28 at last count, they include Alcan Aluminum, Amoco, Anheuser-Busch, Bethlehem Steel, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ford and GM, Owens-Corning Fiberglass, and Whirlpool. But Anderson has worked hard. Give him his due.
Our Greatest Fear
Everywhere you look, industry players are coming out for competition. Each one favors some new form of customer choice, be it self-generation, long-distance "extension cords," collective buying, municipalization, or plain old retail wheeling.