Full of Promise, And Then…

Each month, here, in this spot, the History Repeats column takes a look back on the large moments in the history of utility regulation and policy. And reflects on the lessons of history for us in the practice of pursuing the public interest in the present and years ahead.

In the decade starting in 1995, twenty-two of the fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, implemented retail competition for supplying electric energy to consumers. But nine of those twenty-two states had second thoughts and returned that responsibility to regulated utilities. Including all six of the western states and two of the three southern states – excepting only the Lone Star State (Texas) – that had initially joined the retail competition trend.

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