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Value of Regulation in PUF 89 Years Ago

From the August 7, 1930 issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly, a relevant opinion on the value of regulation. In that issue, editor Henry Spurr, my predecessor, said this:

“All things considered, I think the Commissions have functioned remarkably well as originally intended.

They have eliminated local politics in regulation. They have to a large extent prevented arbitrary legislative action. They have protected the public and the utilities from wasteful competition. They have eliminated discriminatory practices. They have established uniform accounting and reasonable standards of service. They have adjusted an enormous amount of complaints, and thereby not only satisfied utility customers but helped to build up better public relations between the utilities and the ratepayers.

By a broadminded policy of dealing fairly with the utilities as well their customers the Commissions have accelerated the flow of capital into the utility field and thereby hastened development. They have not hesitated to increase rates as well as to decrease rates when necessary. They have not blocked development of the service.

In a word, they have made a tremendously important contribution to the public welfare.”