Electric Utilities And Deregulation

4 April 2015
Examines the background of public utilities regulation, legal limits on government, court cases, effects of deregulation on industry and consumers.


This research paper discusses various legal aspects of the deregulation of the electric power industry in the United States, especially the legal constraints on the power of government, state and federal, to regulate the industry and the rights of the electric utilities (EUs) to recover through the public rate-making process costs and commitments undertaken by them before deregulation becomes fully effective. Generally, the regulatory power of state governments stems from their police powers to regulate an industry which affects the public interest. Constitutional limitations on that power under the Fifth Amendment and the Contract Clause are relatively weak: however, the industry can be expected to use its considerable leverage with state public utility commissions (PUCs) to work out …

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