The New Deal and the Electric Utility Industry, 1933–1941
Funigiello , Philip
This book profiles the events, laws, utilities and dominant industry and political players that shaped the development of national power policies during a period when the federal government sought to make affordable electricity available to all Americans.
Toward a National Power Policy offers a comprehensive analysis of the conflict between Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and the electric utility industry. Philip J. Funigiello outlines the origins and evolution of the privately owned industry, and the growth of an anti-monopoly movement in the 1920s. He details the four major areas of conflict between public and private interests: the Holding Company Act, the Rural Electrification Administration, the Bonneville Power Administration, and power planning for the second World War. Funigiello reveals the complexities of top-level policymaking and the networks of interpersonal relationships that led to both conflict and compromise, and concludes that the failure of the Roosevelt administration to develop a well-defined philosophy prevented the development of a national power policy.