Electric restructuring at the state and federal levels is moving forward fast (em too fast for some. Utilities, unions, consumers and even legislators are making their opposition known by filing lawsuits to block or slow down various restructuring initiatives, from New England to Dixie to the Desert Southwest.
Rolling Back Legislation
Pennsylvania and New Hampshire already have enacted legislation to guarantee customer choice in retail electric markets. Even so, some parties are asking for a rollback. Then there is the case of Alabama, which has not yet passed a law to guarantee customer choice, but has enacted legislation that some say imparts a chilling effect on customers who would seek alternative energy suppliers.
Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Fumo (D) and consumer groups in March filed a lawsuit in state court challenging the constitutionality of the fast-track method used to push through the Pennsylvania bill opening the electric industry to competition.
Since the 84 pages of electric competition language were tacked onto a two-page bill regulating taxicabs, plaintiffs believe it violated a rule requiring the main bill to have a similar subject matter to the added-on language. Plaintiffs hope to have the electric competition bill struck down so they can craft a new one.