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Market failure wherever you look

This little nugget buried in a WaPo story on energy efficiency:

During the period when Maryland, the District and many other areas deregulated, energy companies cut costs to prepare for competition and pledged to let the free market take care of energy efficiency. That competition never materialized, leaving some Maryland customers with rate increases of more than 70 percent.

Yeah, funny how that worked out. (Of course, on the positive side of the ledger [cough], Enron's market manipulation brought California Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

Say, any way we can claw back some of those stolen profits?

NOTE "Failure," of course, depends on how you answer the question "Failure for whom?" For some, like utilility executives and bankers, increasing your electric bill 70% is undoubtedly a success.

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Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

Deregulation was never about competition; it was a scam hatched by Enron to enable market manipulation. California was just the largest and most famous example of its results. The magic worked here in Maine too. As I look to this month's electric bill, I see that Central Maine Power is charging me $0.16 per KWH (around the clock, on peak and off peak) as a direct result. It made CMP quite healthy, and made the CEO who pushed it through with his friends in the Legislature more than a little wealthy. The rest of us, not so much.