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Regulators (such as the NEB wrt to TRP's pipeline revenues) can't let these semi-utilities NOT make money because they understand the need for maintenance and upgrading.

Well that's not SUPPOSED to be the way it works in a regulated environment, the utility should be baking maintenance and upgrade costs into their rate cases not paying for that stuff out of the profits the regulator allows them on regulated businesses. I think that is pretty close to reality in the case of natural gas transmission and retail. Less so in the psuedo-semi-quasi regulated quagmire that is electricity...

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