Lawrence Solomon, one of Canada’s leading environmentalists, is a proponent of efficient, high-density cities and of competition in municipal services through deregulation and privatization. He is also an authority on public utilities, and regulation.
In the late 1970s, he was an advisor to President Carter’s Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report). His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday), which popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s, became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. He has since been at the forefront of the anti-nuclear movement and movements to reform the World Bank and foreign aid agencies.
In the early 1980s, when electric utilities were universally described as natural monopolies, Mr. Solomon developed a new analysis showing them, in fact, to be hybrids of monopoly and non-monopoly functions. Following the publication of his findings in Energy Shock (Doubleday 1980), Breaking Up Ontario Hydro’s Monopoly (Energy Probe 1982) and Power At What Cost? (Doubleday 1984), the United Kingdom under Thatcher adopted his model in its 1989 reforms. Following the success of the U.K. privatization, jurisdictions around the world have adopted similar reforms, making Mr. Solomon’s model the dominant model for electricity restructuring reform in the world. Similarly, he has developed or helped develop industry restructuring models for public transit, street parking, the taxi industry, roadways (he holds a patent pending on satellite toll road technology) and airports. In Ontario, his arguments before the Ontario Energy Board extended the benefits of natural gas deregulation — which other parties believed to be feasible only for large customers — to all consumers.
Mr. Solomon, now a columnist with the National Post, has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, a syndicated columnist, and the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine.