By way of an introduction to the new Progress & Freedom Foundation weblog, I would like to point out the observations there from Tom Lenard, a fellow free-market energy economist and fan of dynamism. Tom’s take on the energy bill is not as bleak and depressing as mine, and he is correctly comparing the likely electricity provisions with what he sees as a worse outcome: the actual implementation of FERC’s Standard Market Design:
The electricity title of the energy bill passed by the House today is a mixed bag, but on balance I think it’s a net plus. Transmission investment has been lagging in recent years and the bill contains several provisions that address this problem, at least to some extent. For example, the bill gives the FERC new siting authority, which the agency can use if the states fail to approve transmission projects of “national interest”. It promotes the idea that those who need a transmission upgrade should “pay an appropriate share of the associated costs.” In the arcane world of electricity regulation, this notion, which seems like common sense, has become controversial. The bill also promotes incentive-based rates for transmission and repeals the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA). All of these measures should have a positive effect on transmission investment.
That’s just his intro; do read the whole thing. And the other PFF folks are populating the blog with pithy and witty commentary. I recommend that you pay them a visit!