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LETTERS

Texans Feel Pain of Deregulation Too

March 23, 2003

"Power Deregulation: A Tale of Two States" (March 17) leaves the impression that Texas succeeded on electric deregulation while California failed.

Many in the energy industry like the Texas model because it has been profitable for them, although costly for consumers. Rather than cap retail rates, as California did, Texas favors electricity retailers by allowing retail price increases that are not linked to actual wholesale power costs.

In Texas, wholesale prices have declined while retail prices have increased.

Once pending rate increases are implemented, the total additional cost to consumers for the last year alone will be $1.7 billion, according to one state agency.

Janee Briesemeister

Consumers Union

Austin, Texas

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I couldn't help but notice the statement "California failed to build a new power plant from 1994 to 1998 even though its economy and population were growing."

You didn't mention why. Could it be that one of the major reasons was environmentalists? Although noble in their beliefs, much of their closed-minded thinking has helped put California in the position it's in today in relation to its energy problems.

F. Dayton

Hesperia

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