Electricity Restructuring is No License for Central Planning

RTOs will perpetuate regional monopolies and political rate regulation.

Economists sometimes get confused - especially when the real world doesn't fit into their neat boxes.

Network industries like telephone and electricity are today's case in point. Economists have viewed these parts of the economy as requiring special attention from regulatory authorities. They're viewed as "natural" monopolies displaying "economies of scope" and characterized by risky "lock-in" or "path dependency" features. That supposedly makes them prone to abuse by their free-market owners, and therefore in need of impartial regulatory oversight.

Backtracking in Georgia

The customer is always right.

Given all the flack it’s caught of late, it may not be too far off before Georgia’s esteemed deregulation program is saddled with the label of “fiasco” and “debacle.” The timing is strikingly similar to California, where that state’s electric restructuring experiment crumbled in the summer of 2000, two years and change after the flawed plan switched on.


Give the British credit, but what about us?




I wanted deregulation. But not if we can't do it right.

I wanted deregulation. But not if we can't do it right.

As an economist, I confess I failed to predict the disaster in California. But I wasn't the only one. Anybody who tells you differently is either lying, fooling himself, or guilty of Monday morning quarterbacking.

Decommissioning Funds: Snagged on Tax Law?

How outdated rules could deny tax deductions to nuclear plant owners.

1 1999 TNT 204-24 PECO Energy's Testimony at Finance Hearing on Tax Issues of Electric Power Industry. (Hereinafter, "PECO Energy Testimony.")

2 Treas. Reg. 1.468A (c)(2). For a more detailed explanation, see Nuclear Energy Institute Policy Briefs, "Why Tax Treatment of Decommissioning Trust Funds Must Be Updated to Reflect New Business Conditions,"

News Digest

The California ISO offers a plan, but some fear that rules themselves are the problem.


News Digest