Utility industry ‘fixes’ seldom go as hoped

I worked in corporate planning at Niagara Mohawk (now National Grid NY) during the 1980s and 1990s, when the industry restructuring you describe so well began to take hold. (“Exploring a community utility, Rochester Beacon, Sept. 28, 2023.) That was what I’ll call a second wave of regulatory change in the utility industry—certainly well-intentioned, whatever one thinks of the actual results. The first wave of change was in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and its logo was the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Following the oil embargoes and price shocks of the 1970s, dozens of electric utilities across the country were building nuclear generating plants and running up breathtaking cost overruns on them.