NRG Power Marketing: An Economist's Assessment

Mon Feb 01 15:24:38 EST 2010
By Jonathan Falk

In this guest column for Law360, NERA Vice President Jonathan Falk suggests that the recent Supreme Court decision NRG Power Marketing, et al. v. Maine Public Utility Commissioners, et al. is an instrumental piece of a long process that might finally unleash the powers of competition in electricity markets. Mr. Falk argues that with this decision, what the Supreme Court has done is to make clear that there is no legal constraint on the ability of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to create true market-based solutions. In turn, these solutions promise the dynamic efficiencies that other deregulated markets already have brought about: lower costs to consumers, with the risks of innovation being borne by willing shareholders who have uncapped profitability for those innovations.

This column first appeared in the 1 February 2010 edition of Law360.