Cutting electricity prices and the Legislature

The Legislature has embarked on its every two year effort to cut electricity rates without re-regulating the Texas market. Don’t expect much to happen.

Bills have been filed in the House and Senate that would revise the deregulated market in an attempt to cut wholesale electricity prices. This, theoretically,  would then force retail providers to cut their prices to consumers. The plan is complicated, and would give some cities the right to buy power for its residents while limiting how big wholesalers could be. It would also kill the nodal project, a $600 million project designed to cut power-line congestion.

None of this is likely to succeed, and not just because it’s incredibly difficult to understand. It won’t succeed because you can’t regulate a deregulated market. It’s either regulated or it isn’t. The pregnancy metaphor is quite apt here. It also won’t succeed because Texas’ electricity companies don’t want it to, and they have demonstrated over the past several years that they get want they want.



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