"Deregulation" of the energy market was a key antecedent to the California Elecctricity Crisis that caused rolling blackouts in 2001 while transferring tens of billions of dollars from the utilities to mostly out-of-state energy wholesalers -- money that would come out of the pockets of California ratepayers and taxpayers.
Deregulation was implemented in stages during the 1990s, under pressure by some of the same entities that would later extort billions from California, such as Enron, a major Republican Party donor whose CEO was a personal friend of George W. Bush. 1
In 1996, then-Governor Pete Wilson signed Assembly Bill 1890, an enormously complex piece of legislation that had been rammed through the legislature in a process lasting only three weeks.
The bill, which had been written largely by California's private utilities, included a consumer-financed bailout for $28 billion of utilities "stranded-costs" -- primarily expenses the utilities had incurred in financing nuclear power plants. 2
2. Love is Hate, War is Peace, and Nuclear Power is Green, local.org, [cached]