Success stories are fueling some discussion of bringing deregulation back to California. Last month, a group of scholars from UC Berkeley and Stanford, joined by Wilk and other former regulators, signed a manifesto asking California policymakers to take a second look at deregulation.
"With the benefit of hindsight, let's look at why California failed and put together a recipe for success," said Tom Campbell, a former state representative and now dean of the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley.
But politically, key lawmakers and even deregulation supporters, including the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn., acknowledge that California's experience argues against a return engagement soon.
"No one is seriously talking about deregulation in California," said state Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey), chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee.
Michael Peevey, California's new PUC president, agreed.
"I just don't think there's an appetite for it. Not for now," he said, adding, "Two years from now, it's a different matter."