The Daschle-Bingaman Energy Bill would give power to Beltway Bureaucrats, not consumers

WASHINGTON – In February, Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska scathingly described the substitute energy legislation devised by Senators Daschle and Bingaman (and its convoluted electricity title in particular) as a "virtual wish list" for Enron, noting that "…Enron never wanted to deregulate electricity. Instead, they wanted to federalize electricity. They wanted to put FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in charge. Enron wanted to create a one-size-fits-all system… By knocking down states\’ rights in exchange for federal command and control, Enron would have gained substantial advantage in energy markets at the hands of state protections for consumers."

Though Enron is now bankrupt, its presence still lingers in the text of the electricity title. And it deserves to be excised. By supplanting existing (and effective) state-level regulation of electricity production and distribution in favor of the long since refuted "Washington Knows Best" approach, the reliability and affordability of electricity in the several states would be inexcusably jeopardized.

ATR President Grover Norquist observed, "Giving FERC more regulatory authority won\’t provide the adequate supply of energy America needs. We need deregulation and devolution, not more and more regulation emanating from Washington. Senators Daschle and Bingaman should know better than to trot out this bald power grab and expect us to believe it\’s a solution. This sort of approach is actually part of the problem."