Eco-Developer Pat Wood III explains how competitive markets are good for green business.
Richard Stavros is executive editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
In many respects, Pat Wood III has always been a man ahead of his time. As a Texas public utility commissioner in the mid- to late 1990s, he was one of the first U.S. regulators to oversee his state’s move toward electric competition, a novel idea then. As the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), he worked to enhance energy-market transparency, promote infrastructure development, and make markets work more effectively for customers at a time when such initiatives sometimes met with fierce political resistance from those supporting the status quo.
The debate over implementing comprehensive electric-competition policies throughout the U.S. economy still rages to this day. Wood, as the federal regulator, had to fight many tough, public battles in defense of his beliefs on open markets.
But there is no bitterness from those battles, if there ever was. It’s quite the opposite. Interviewed at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) conference in early June, Wood punctuated his answers in the go get ’em, optimistic view of the world many remember him for at FERC.