A candidate for attorney general says the office has the power to investigate and reform how wholesale electricity rates are set in New York, and he would use that authority for the first time.

Richard Brodsky, an assemblyman long critical of utility deregulation, claims rates are inflated by $2 billion a year.

The Westchester County Democrat says the so-called "market clearing price" set by the Independent System Operator has pushed New York's electric rates to the fourth highest in the nation.

Brodsky, whose Assembly committee reported last year that the system allows power plant operators to reap excessive profits at ratepayers' expense, says he hasn't asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate. But he promises he'll open a probe if elected.

Calls to Cuomo and the ISO were not immediately returned.

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