I must say that I got a big kick out of last week’s article on the Mercatus Center (“Bull Market,” 3/8). Many of the organization’s views on energy restructuring are similar to my organization’s take on the subject, but perhaps for slightly different reasons.
We strongly believe that energy competition is necessary, inevitable, and good for all classes of consumers if done right. The old regulatory structure has led to grandfathering too many polluting plants (the second-biggest cause of air pollution), subsidizing fat-cat fuel suppliers (see the current energy bill in Congress), perpetuating the fiasco of nuclear energy over the decades (something that would have been hard to pull off, for economic reasons, in a competitive energy market), jacking up energy prices without any consumer control, and holding back new energy technologies that have a lot of promise. It has led us to the point that the grids (both electric and natural gas) are at a breaking point and could lead to major blackouts around the country.
Plus, having worked with a lot of the folks at Mercatus, I can attest that they are actually pretty smart and consistently offer provocative thinking, which is sorely needed in a town of Swiss-cheese (and old at that) ideas. I could easily point to a number of basket cases in the environmental/consumer community that are much more off the charts—and yet are equally subsidized by some sugar daddy.
Center for the Advancement of Energy Markets