As you might recall from your basic economics classes, having more options is always better than having fewer options.

Having greater freedom of choice means more competition and lower prices – an idea that was embraced when California deregulated its power industry just a few years ago. If passed, Proposition 80 would be a significant step back toward the monopoly that public utilities once held over the state’s electricity production.

Public utilities held electricity consumers hostage for years, forcing them to pay exorbitant energy prices without any alternative, and Prop 80 would once again eliminate consumer’s choices when it comes to purchasing their power.

State regulation of electric power is an unnecessary and unproductive measure, especially considering the significant progress that has been made in creating a stable energy market in the wake of the 2000-2001 energy crisis.

What’s more, this bill might mean lights out for the University of California. Here at UCSB, the school can barely afford to pay its electric bill, and Prop 80 could result in a price hike big enough to leave students in the dark. Don’t forget your flashlight.