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A Free Market for Electricity in Kansas?

A letter in today’s Wichita Eagle makes the case for a free market in electricity. An excerpt:

I am among a growing number of Americans who are skeptical about the human impact on climate change. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence that our behavior is causing the changes many environmentalists tend to blame on humanity. So it seems wrong to force me to pay higher electric rates because of unproven theories about our impact on the environment.

I think those people who support such theories should pay the higher rates for electricity, since their beliefs are driving costs higher. Instead of charging all customers higher rates, only charge those customers who want to use alternative energy sources. This policy could easily be implemented by sending all ratepayers a ballot so they can decide which energy source they prefer to use.

A market-based solution to part of this rate increase makes perfect sense. People who believe humans are responsible for climate change can pay for it, and those of us who are skeptical can continue to enjoy lower energy bills.

Deregulation of electricity markets has been tried — sort of — recently, and it didn’t work out as well as it could have. The problem was that it was only partial deregulation, as explained in Short-Circuited, an article at the Cato Institute. California’s Troubles Not Caused by Deregulation explains the situation in California.

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