Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Plug Federal Policy Into Emerging Market.(Editorial Page)


California's two largest electric utilities are on the edge of bankruptcy at a time of record prices for electricity. Supply is so tight that the California power grid authority warned Wednesday it might impose rolling blackouts.

The brave, new world of deregulation pioneered by California seems to be blowing the circuit breakers of the free market. Of course, it hasn't really been a free market. It's more like a wobbly transition step toward a model that relies more upon competition's invisible hand to hold down rates.

A steadying hand is what is needed at this point in the transition. That's what Energy Secretary Bill Richardson extended last week as he ordered electricity providers to sell to distributing utilities at a price set by Richardson. …

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