August 2003
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
The Commission supports an energy policy that recognizes both the quarter-century march toward increased competition in electric generation and wholesale markets and the value of traditional modes of regulatory authority. A fundamental assumption is that the wholesale electricity business is largely a competitive commodity business. So too is the retail supply of electricity to very large customers, including industrial customers and some national chains. However, the retail supply of electricity to other customers is, for the foreseeable future, likely to remain a service-oriented business with major public policy implications. In this context, electric distribution and transmission companies have both special opportunities and special obligations. As the federal government and the states attempt to resolve the tensions inherent in promoting competition and customer choice, multiple paths may be found to widely shared equity, environmental and economic objectives. These recommendations constitute a framework that the Commission presents as a prototype for progress in accommodating diverse needs and goals.
Related Topics