The Environmental Protection Agency reviews how the multi-pollutant control concept is to work.
Misha Adamantiades, Linda Chappell, and Sam Napolitano
Currently, 132 areas do not meet the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particles or ozone, affecting some 160 million people, or 57 percent of the U.S. population. What efforts are under way by the EPA to bring these areas into compliance?
Increased business and regulatory challenges have utilities lagging in investments to meet energy demand a decade from now.
Kurt E. Yeager
The electricity enterprise has tended through restructuring to become a victim of its historic success in maintaining universal service reliability at ever-lower cost. The essential foundation for restoring enterprise vitality in the coming decade is rebuilding this fundamental public/private partnership, based on technology innovations that can increase the value of electricity service, including providing higher levels of reliability and security.
Utilities will gain from new regs for research tax credits.
Craig King, Jeff Jones, and Kurt Mars
The 1990s ushered in the era of deregulation, bringing a reluctance of state commissions to approve large capital expenditures for transmission and distribution (T&D). To make up for this, capital spending has increased dramatically in the last few years. Now the federal government is stepping in to help utilities prime the pump. The final regulations, issued in early 2004 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, should make it a little easier for utilities, as well as other taxpayers, to use research and development (R&D) expenditures to help lower their effective tax rates.
It's certainly puzzling, if not downright peculiar. That's the feeling one gets after studying the notice of inquiry (NOI) that FERC launched late last year, after nearly 10 years of dragging its feet, to re-examine the wisdom of encouraging the practice of rate discounting by interstate natural gas pipelines.
Why not let the industry make its own decisions on how to meet economy-wide reductions in greenhouse-gas intensity as a percentage of GDP? It can be demonstrated easily that the land requirements for biomass to replace fossil fuels far exceed what is available in the world and the United States, including croplands, pastures, and meadows.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plans to investigate the membership requirements set by the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP), especially as they pertain to power marketers (Docket Nos. ER94-1529-001 and 002, and EL95-77-000).
The FERC found last December that certain MAPP membership criteria are framed in terms of traditional utility attributes (em e.g., ownership of generation and transmission facilities, interconnected operation, system load and related reserve obligations (em that entities such as power marketers do not possess.
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