Policymakers reflect on how it "coulda been." Nearly all insist "my state did it best."
California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have deregulated their electricity markets. Yet they're all ironing out wrinkles. California at press time was bracing for a vote on the Proposition 9 recall petition. New Hampshire still faced federal lawsuits filed by Public Service of New Hampshire seeking to quash efforts to bring competition to the state. (See, U.S. District Court, Concord, Docket No. 97-97-JD; U.S. District Court, Providence, Docket No. 97-121-L.) In addition, an October hearing was set at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (Docket No. 98-1764) in Boston on the appeal of a temporary restraining order blocking deregulation.
Time has come to look back on these restructuring efforts and evaluate what might have been done differently in these states, or what should be done in other states only now beginning to formulate policy.
With this in mind, we asked policymakers to reflect on what they might do differently were they to do it again. Each participant was asked the same questions:
Deregulating Over Again. If you had to deregulate your state's electricity market again, how would you do it differently?
Learning From Mistakes. What mistakes were made? What did you learn from them?
ISO vs. Transco. For the Californians, if you were to visit restructuring again, would you put aside the model of a non-profit independent system operator in favor of a for-profit Transco that owns the grid as a going concern? For other states, should you start off with a Transco instead of an ISO? Either way, do you wish you had more input in what was largely a federal process to choose the ISO?