Discussion at the PUC’s open meeting today makes it clear that a majority of the commissioners are ready to re-regulate Texas’ world-class electricity market, replacing competition with a capacity market fueled by a de facto electricity tax, collected though consumers’ bills, projected to run from $3 to $5 billion a year. The statements today in support of a mandatory reserve margin will lead to a regulated system that takes decisions out of the hands of Texas consumers-and puts them into the hands of the PUC.

Rather than addressing Texas’ reliability concerns through a free and functioning market, the Lone Star State is instead moving toward a system of corporate subsidies and centralized control. This is the beginning of the end of the world’s most competitive electricity market and one of the great examples of deregulation in the United States. It sends an unfortunate signal that Texas is ready to run its electricity market much like Washington, D.C., is running our health care system.