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1. UTILITIES

After years of swimming against deregulation tide, Austin mulls more oversight

In Texas' partially deregulated power market, Austin keeps it weird. The state capital, known for an independent vibe that attracts musicians and tech firms alike, still claims a municipal electric utility more than a decade after consumers in much of the Lone Star State began seeing a choice of retailers. Austin Energy avoided boosting base rates for years and gave residents a voice in promoting renewable power. Still, Austin and San Antonio -- the other major Texas locale with a city-owned power utility -- face many of the same realities as other electric providers in a landscape of evolving technology, infrastructure needs and consumer demand.

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