Two sides of the Deregulation Debate

RTOs: Worth the Expense? A Prescription for Improving Competition


AEP crews work in east Texas to restore power after Hurricane Rita in 2005. Whenever the power’s out, linemen restore it as fast as they can. Photo courtesy of American Electric Power.
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When bad weather blasts the power system, linemen rush to restore it as quickly as they can. If they need more manpower, neighboring utilities send all the help they have.

Too bad our restructured electric industry doesn’t work as well.

Everyone agrees there are problems with deregulation, but there’s no consensus on why it isn’t working or how exactly we’re going to fix it. We asked the American Public Power Association and the Edison Electric Institute to weigh in on the question for us.

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The APPA zeroes in on the cost of running regional transmission organizations. Diane Moody, author of the article, is director of statistical analysis at APPA, where she focuses on the areas of energy data, inter-utility cost comparisons, utility finance, state restructuring, insurance and risk management. Prior to joining APPA, she was an economist with the National Coal Association and worked in various capacities in the Norfolk Southern Company’s marketing department.

EEI shared its three-step prescription for improving competition. Richard McMahon is executive director, energy supply, for the Edison Electric Institute, with responsibility over EEI’s Alliance of Energy Suppliers, which serves the needs of generators and power suppliers. He directs EEI staff in advancing the public policy and commercial interests of its member companies in issue areas that include coal-fired and other baseload generation, natural gas issues, renewable power, environmental issues, and legislative issues.

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