Hey guys, a clarification is in order: By “power company” I meant the companies that are the government regulated monopolies that deliver power to customer. They own the lines and sometimes have a separate subsidiary that owns generation. it is these companies, e.g. Duke, Vectren that I am referring to.
In general, power generation and distribution is shaping up to be like health care. We will have a few government controlled monopolies that will make serious money and they will always sign on to more regulation. It is classical crony capitalism and rent seeking.
They will protest loudly while at the very same time negotiating their rate increases. They will use their cozy regulatory relationships to drive out competitors.
The great part is that Capitalism will be blamed for the fiasco. Then as electric rates skyrocket we will see a flood of imported items that are energy intensive. Then Freepers will cry “Buy American!” and “Free Trade Doesn’t Work!”.