Missouri, Kansas utilities back bills to reestablish monopoly on transmission projects
From The Missouri Independent:
Missouri’s largest electric utility believes a bill aimed at reducing competition and giving monopoly providers an advantage in building transmission lines will avoid cost overruns and deliver better results for customers…
But opponents — an unlikely alliance of consumer and clean energy groups, right-leaning free-market organizations and transmission line developers — say eliminating competition would drive up costs of transmission projects. Those costs are then borne by customers in rate increases…
Josiah Neely testified in opposition to the legislation on behalf of the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank.
Neely, a senior fellow at the organization, cited research saying competitive bidding can create cost savings of up to 30%.
He said the bill would create a monopoly for the incumbent utility in each state.
“That’s bad as a matter of principle,” Neely said, “but it’s also costly to consumers because without competition, that check on the spending for these projects goes away.”