How Electric Deregulation has ‘benefited’ us

Great write up. In essence it casts the blame on Enron for the mess our electrical distribution system has become. but there were plenty of other players in the game. Enron was just the front man.

For example – here in RI my transmission costs make up an astounding 32% of my electric bill. Yet we’re footing the bill to bury power lines at India Point Park. I agree the lines should be buried, but National Grid should be paying for it, not us. I remember when I was at the AG’s office we were looking at what it would cost PG&E to install scrubbers and water coolers on it’s Brayton Point power plant. In essence, it would have cost penauts compared to the costs to area fishermen, etc.

And should I mention that if you look at my per kW cost, they say it’s ten cents but when you factor in distribution/transmission, it comes up to almost sixteen cents a kWh. Oh yeah, deregulation has been great for the consume. If you don’t sense the dripping sarcasm in that there’s something wrong with you.

BTW, just look at what happened to formerly nationalized entities in Britain when they deregulated and privatized. Perfect example is their rail transit system. The new owner decided that maintenance and upgrades weren’t such a big deal and so for quite some time their rail system suffered tremendously.

Certain things should not be a competitive market, but a tightly regulated market. Power and transit are two that come immediately to mind. But even telecom deregulation really hasn’t benefitted everyone unless of course they told Ma Bell (And Ma Bell is back, only it’s a duopoly now instead of a monopoly.) to go to hell and went VoIP. But Ma Bell is fighting tooth and nail, and losing the battle little by little as more people get ticked off by the tacked on fees and rising costs.

I’m hoping that someday the pendulum swings the other way. But it won’t start to swing back until we break the corporate dominance of government. See my post about substituting the occurences of a single word in the 14th amendment as a first step.

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