The same holding company should not be allowed to own natural gas and electric power utilities that serve the same geographic territories.
The logic supporting this argument has three principal parts, which can be described generally as shale gas, competition and public safety.
Over the past decade, unconventional technologies have radically transformed the outlook for natural gas production in the United States. At current rates of consumption, the US is believed to have an ample supply of domestic natural gas to last 100 years. Over the next 20 years, the natural gas price is expected to remain significantly below the prices of competing energy sources, including electricity and oil. Federal and state energy policies were not designed to deal with the challenges of abundant natural gas. Two critical policy challenges posed by abundance are related to economic competition public safety.