Cynicism is nothing to scoff at. Cartoonist Scott Adams of Dilbert( fame has made a good living at it. But cynicism has an Achilles' heel. It reflects a certain lack of objectivity. It may deflect serious debate.
Consider the securitization of electric utility stranded costs. Last summer, after Ken Rose had thrown down the gauntlet against securitization, %n1%n I heard him speak at the 1997 NASUCA mid-year meeting and was struck that his message might make mischief in state regulatory and legislative arenas. In California a recent court challenge against securitization was short-lived. In Pennsylvania, a court challenge is pending against retail competition issues including securitization. Of course, the Fortnightly later published a rebuttal from former California commissioner Dan Fessler, %n2%n but others, %n3%n like Ken Rose, have failed to consider the matter in an entirely objective manner. In my own view, as a former state consumer counsel and NASUCA committee chair, I feel the issue calls for a more exacting analysis: one that confronts such realities as the ban against any taking or confiscation of property without due process.
I believe that utilities, regulators and customers should consider securitization for working out stranded costs if it is properly included in state enabling legislation.