Texas utility finds Dodd-Frank a source of frustration

Publicly owned Austin Energy grapples with new rules, reduced liquidity

Erika Bierschbach - Austin Energy
Erika Bierschbach, Austin Energy

Publicly owned utilities are an unusual creature in the US energy markets. As arms of state or local governments, they are nonprofits committed to returning excess revenues to their communities. At the same time, they trade physical power and gas and financially settled energy derivatives just like any private company, venturing into the rough-and-tumble of the markets.

So it was a surprise to many of them when the US Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 financial reform law aimed at reining in Wall Street