If my clicky worked you should be viewing an article called "California's Deregulation Disaster" in the Nation online. My information came from a series on National Public Radio, but I believe this article has the gist.
My point about the pricing of energy is that we, as users, have had our choices limited by the large energy producers. Oil is where the big bucks have been, so those in the oil industry (providers, processors, refiners, et al) have spent a ton on lobbyists who help maintain their competitive advantage. They do this by passing part of the cost of production on to the public; the rights to take oil from public lands, purchased at a fraction of the value of the oil, is just one example of this. The ability to walk away from the clean-up when a field plays out (see the desolation at the sites of the original oil strikes in Texas for an example of this) is another.
Now the plan is to subsidize coal as an "alternative" to oil in energy plants. The public is, once again, being asked to prop up a dieing industry, built on a non-renewable source. It makes no sense.
Any claim that "the market" will solve the problem is the standard capitalist line of bullshit. As long as "it takes money to make money", market equity will not exist. All you have to do is read the history of Standard Oil and the Rockefellers to understand this. There is no free market for energy - there never was a free market for energy - there never will be a free market for energy. Until we develop an energy policy that isn't gauged to squeezing out the last dime of profit from non-renewable energy sources we are at the mercy of the guys who hold the mineral rights.