"This is not an intent to strip away consumer protection," Sen. Alfonse M.
D'Amato (R-NY) told
a Senate panel about S. 1317, a bipartisan bill to repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA).
D'Amato, chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, received nods from federal and state regulators at the June 6 hearing, although each voiced reservations. Three utility chiefs spoke in favor of the legislation.
A few utility executives claim to sleep untroubled by the future of their companies. Most, however, admit to some tossing and turning engendered by concern over competition and the complacency of coworkers.
What, if anything, are they doing about it?
A survey of 117 PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY subscribers reveals that American utility executives are asking themselves all the tough questions about the future of their operations. It also reveals a widespread sense of urgency in the search for answers.
The secret lies in gaining exclusive-use rights to protect your product or process from your competitors.
The electric utility industry is inherently a high-technology business. Those who ignore this fact for long will fall behind (em not only in using the technology, but also in contending against their higher-tech competitors.
Many executives of publicly held utility corporations have written severance agreements to protect them in the event of a change in control. However, these severance packages remain vulnerable to attack by acquirers.
Two separate threats are emerging. One involves a direct attack on drafting flaws in the plan documents. The other, more subtle, threat lies in the impact and interpretation of the special "Golden Parachute" rules under the Internal Revenue Code. This second threat warrants attention.
At the end of May, Consumers Power Co. issued a press release that caught my eye. In four short paragraphs, the company said it had filed an application with the state public service commission (PSC) seeking approval of a private power-supply contract with James River Corp. Consumers Power ranks James River as its 23rd largest industrial electric customer.
Offsystem Gas Sales. Florida permits new LDC tariff for sales to offsystem customers. LDC recovers all variable costs, including $100 administrative charge per transaction; splits nongas charges with firm customers, crediting administrative charges to PGA rate. Docket No. 960185-GU, PSC-96-0482-FOF-GU, Apr. 5, 1996 (Fl.P.S.C.).
Marc W. Chupka, former special assistant to Energy Secretary Hazel R. O'Leary, has been promoted to acting assistant secretary for policy. He replaces Dan Reicher, now O'Leary's chief of staff. Melanie A. Kenderline was appointed deputy assistant secretary for House liaison in the office of congressional, public, and intergovernmental affairs.
MidCon Corp.'s president and CEO, John F. Riordan, was elected chair of the Gas Research Institute, succeeding Thomas L. Fisher of Northern Illinois Gas Co.
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