Regulation could also ensure that supply interruption in unusually cold/ hot weather could be prevented (e.g. by winterizing the equipment and plants or having enough back-up powder for demanding situations). When the energy supply network is designed without regulations this sort of cost-cutting results. It's a race to the bottom. The weather wasn't even that unusual (there was a similar storm about 30 years ago...well within living memory). It just means everyone needs to pay a bit extra in their bills but American conservatives seem to think this is socialism.What I suggest is that the government act as the advisor for consumers, also preventing them from making ruinous mistakes. Like Dafluff said, the only reason to advocate for poor choices for consumers is because you believe you will profit from them.