Democracy And Regulation
Democracy And Regulation

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Jerrold Oppenheim
Theo MacGregor

57 Middle Street
Gloucester, Mass.
01930 USA

Other Works
By Greg Palast

Democratic Control of Public Enterprise in the United States: A History of Regulation and Liberalisation in the Electricity Sector
Transfer, the Quarterly of the European Trade Union Institute, Summer 2002
July 1, 2002
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The system of democratic regulation of privately-owned utilities that has evolved in the United States over the past century includes five main elements: participation; transparency; a standard of justice and reasonableness; protection against confiscation of utility assets; and prices that are related to costs. After setting these elements forth and explaining how they are balanced, we describe how the system failed in a series of relatively small but highly visible experiments with deregulation in California and elsewhere in the US. Finally, we outline the history of how democratic regulation evolved in the US and how democracy is reversing the failed experiment with deregulation in California.