The DC-based COMPETE Coalition, composed of 145 retailers, universities, energy companies, public schools and corporations, has delivered a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to counter criticism of competitive electricity markets. Signed by powerful organizations like Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, Best Buy and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the letter urges the commission to continue encouraging price competition within the energy market by allowing customers to choose from multiple providers. At least 16 states let residential customers choose their supplier, while others also give the option to business and industrial customers.

"We have saved millions through competitive markets," said Angela Beehler, director of energy regulation for Wal-Mart. "People who are enjoying competitive benefits need to let the policymakers and legislators know."   EC