Looking at Electricity Prices in a Whole New Light

In southwest Ohio in June 1998 a transformer failed, forcing a number of Midwestern utilities to scramble to avoid blackouts. Spot prices on the electricity market skyrocketed from $25 a megawatthour to $7,500.

Gasoline $450 a Gallon
Tom Overbye, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, wrote about the incident in a paper on deregulation's effects on the power grid in American Scientist, "Imagaine your consternation if one day you pulled into a gas station and discovered the price had increased three-hundred fold, from $1.50 a gallon to $450 a gallon."

This same situation is what many in California and other states in the West are facing this spring and summer.