It's just a few hours after the Northeast U.S. power outage, and facts are trickling in; as of right now, it looks like an accidental overload knocked out a large part of the Niagara Mohawk power grid. A few years ago, California went through rolling blackouts that were largely due to a poorly-executed deregulation of that state's power industry. The question that's probably occurring to many of us is, did late-'90s deregulation play a role in today's power event? I don't know the answer, so I'm turning it over to you -- moderators, please check links and up-mod the most informative, pro or con. Here is some information to get you started: "We support deregulation 100 percent..." (N-M spokesman, 1997; notes N-M wanted to sell generators and "concentrate on the transmission and distribution of energy" -- did it?); N-M made some bad investments and is scheduled to request a rate hike (did it?); and N-M's own website says: "Deregulation [has] changed the laws and regulations governing the electricity industry to promote competition..." (how so?).