(R-TX) on the last day of the 104th Congress introduced legislation, H.R. 4297, "The Consumers Electric Power Act," to bring competition to the nation's electric industry. DeLay said competition would lower electric bills by 30 to 40 percent, and that the typical American family would save about $30 a month, or $360 a year.
DeLay's bill would guarantee every consumer the right to choose their electric service providers by January 1, 1998, and would ban exit fees unless freely negotiated. The Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 would be repealed once competition is achieved.
H.R. 4297 would bar any right to stranded-cost recovery, however. According to Tony Rudy, DeLay's spokesman, stranded costs were not an issue when competition was introduced to AT&T. Delay believes consumers would be better off not paying them.