For a key lawmaker in Pennsylvania, the Texas electric deregulation experience has become an example of what not to do.According to Camille George, the majority chair of a key committee in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, utility representatives in his state are fond of pointing to the success of Texas electric deregulation.But that “claim is patently wrong – in Texas, Pennsylvania and nationwide,” said George, quoted in an April 9th news report.
George cited several recent editorials from Texas newspapers, including a March 20th editorial in the Dallas Morning News that noted that “ten years after the state deregulated the market, residents are looking for relief,” a March 26 editorial in the Houston Chronicle that noted that “for almost the whole period of deregulation, electricity prices have skyrocketed,” and a March 29 editorial by the Houston Chronicle that noted that residents “are stuck with an electricity system they didn’t ask for – and that has done them little good.”
The Pennsylvania lawmaker said he supports legislation similar to legislation in Texas supported by CAPP that would open the door to bulk electricity purchasing on behalf of ratepayers.
“We need to put safeguards in place to protect customers from dramatic rate increases that could result from a deregulated market,” said George.
Is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.