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Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1995

Mailbag

Vince Esposito

In his recent article, "The Future of Local Gas Distributors" (Feb 1, 1995, p. 20), Vinod Dar presents a vision of executives at the local distribution company (LDC) lining up to buy cemetery plots (em even as the gas marketers, charging on horseback, seize the high ground of "middle" and

core-markets.

That sort of bravado cannot substitute for an in-depth knowledge of gas distribution. Mr. Dar in fact distorts or ignores many realities of the gas business.

"Merger of Equals" Primes NSP, WEPCO for Competition

Bruce W. Radford

Northern States Power Co. (NSP) and Wisconsin Energy Corp. (parent company of Wisconsin Electric Power Co., WEPCO, and Wisconsin Natural Gas Co.), have announced plans to merge, a move NSP says will create the tenth-largest investor-owned utility in the United States, based on market capitalization. The new company (em Primergy Corp. (em would operate as a registered public utility holding company and parent company of NSP and WEPCO, with the gas subsidiary perhaps spun off to comply with the Holding Company Act.

Will IOUs Unbundle by 2000

Bruce W. Radford

Forty percent of 42 state public utility commissions (PUCs) expect electric utilities to unbundle generation from transmission and distribution within the next one to five years, according to a survey conducted for the Electric Generation Association (EGA) by Boston Pacific Co.

Perspective

William W. Berry

More than a decade ago, at the 1981 Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Fall Financial Conference in Palm Beach, FL, I presented my vision of the future of the electric industry. I called my talk "Let's End the Monopoly." In it I urged, "Let's open electricity generation to competition (em with free entry, no franchises, and no obligation to serve." The response was underwhelming.

From the perspective of the last 14 years, how have my forecasts turned out?

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