Connecticut energy battle pits regulation against competition

Legislators from across the country met in Hartford Thursday to figure out a way to stop rising electric rates in southwestern Connecticut. Legislators are attempting to draft a compromise energy bill to deal with skyrocketing prices. The informational hearing focused on whether competition or regulation would be better for Connecticut consumers. Connecticut lawmakers are at odds with which route would be more effective. Those against regulation blame the present price crisis on approved deregulation of the electric industry in 1998. State Representative Terry Backer (D-Stratford) and many others agree bringing in competition is the answer. They disagree with proposals to re-regulate, saying it will cost $10 billion to $15 billion and will not show residents any price reduction for five or six years. They insist their residents need relief now.

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