In his recent Maine Voices column, Tom Walsh declares the deregulation of the power sector in Maine a failure (“Electric cars have one besetting problem: The source of their fuel,” Sept. 11).

He bases this on the fact that power rates have risen, but in reality deregulation has had very little to do with the hike in power rates.

The closing of the Maine Yankee nuclear plant, which coincided with the start of deregulation, set the stage for higher power costs. Regulation of power supply would not have stopped that.

If power supply had stayed regulated after the fall of Maine Yankee, the utilities would have had a mad scramble on their hands to replace the inexpensive nuclear power that had been available for several decades.

There would have been price hikes under regulated supply as well.

Unlike other states where the price of power is still regulated, Maine does not have abundant coal, nuclear or giant hydroelectric plants to turn to. None of those low-cost options are likely to ever be allowed here.

Natural gas was the most viable choice that we had. As new power plants came on line, the demand and the cost for the fuel rose dramatically.

There had never been a major demand for natural gas here in Maine before.

Like it or not, New England-wide the market price of power is now dictated by the cost of natural gas. That is why power supply prices have risen.