In 1999, then-state Sen. David Sibley, co-author of the Texas electric deregulation law, said this about his law: “If we don”t get consumers lower rates, then we have been a failure – I”ll be the first to say it.”

But under Sibley”s law, electric prices in Texas have not just gone up, but way up. CAPP”s new report on the history of deregulation shows that before Sibley”s law, Texans paid rates below the national average. After the law restructured the market, Texans paid above the national average.

Sibley said Monday that he stands behind his statement a decade ago. Interviewed by The Quorum Report, an online political journal, the former state senator compared the lowest-priced electricity under deregulation to “the cheapest loaf of bread” at the supermarket.

“But if you factor in all the fancy, gourmet breads on the market, the average cost of bread may be way high,” he said.

Not mentioned by Sibley is a recent survey of electricity prices also cited in the CAPP report. According to the survey, electric prices in several areas of Texas outside deregulation beat all the best prices in deregulated North Texas.

Translation: when it comes to electricity, the cheap loaves are all outside deregulation.

— R.A. Dyer

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