Deregulation, you say? We still haven't seen any.
Let's begin with a quiz. We'll use the multiple-choice format, developed at the University of Wisconsin during the 1960s to address overcrowding caused by the World War II "baby boom." Choose only one of the following 10 possible answers. Be careful. It's tougher than it looks.
Question: What is meant by the term electric restructuring?
A. To provide all consumers with retail access to multiple "energy" providers.
B. To separate the ownership of power generation from other functions.
C. To "unbundle" electricity into a lot of separate services not easily definable but recognizable when one sees them.
D. To shift regulation to the federal government through a process in which one utility sells all the power plants in its franchise territory to a second utility, which reciprocates by selling all its local plants back to the first utility, or perhaps to some other company instead.
E. To create an international market by transferring ownership and operation of all or part of the U.S. electric power system to foreign investors, or to government-owned, foreign utility systems or conglomerates not wishing to be called conglomerates but lacking a better name.
F. It's the same as "convergence" - except in England, where it also includes the provision of water service through pipes.
G. It's an excuse to create numerous huge and quasi-governmental agencies to run certain portions of electric transmission systems to prevent the owners from deploying their assets in a manner that might yield a greater profit than if a disinterested third party operated the same assets for the "public benefit."
H. Answers A, B and C.
I. Answers A, B, C, E and F, but not D.