The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has proposed regulations to allow electric utilities to use fuel-cost clauses to recover gains or losses from trading Clean Air Act emission allowances....
Filing Announces New Generation of Mergers
Two utility merger lawyers at LeBouef, Lamb, Green & MacRae predict that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will continue to receive many merger applications, though some will differ from the classic merger between neighboring utilities. Douglas W. Hawes and Samuel Behrends IV have filed comments in the FERC's merger rulemaking proceeding, recommending that the FERC implement "fast track" proceedings for the next generation of mergers.
Based on their merger practice, the attorneys warn the FERC to expect:
s Disaggregations, including disaggregations within a holding company, spinoffs to shareholders, and disaggregations coupled with mergers
s Mergers of electric utilities into gas utilities
s Combinations of noninterconnected electric utilities
s Mergers between electric utilities and nonutilities that own power marketers.
The filing suggests that the next generation of mergers will avoid the competitive issues the FERC has focused on in mergers involving neighboring utilities. It further urges that these new-style mergers receive fast-track treatment using of safe harbors, approval on delegated authority, and limited review. The filing also counsels the FERC not to undo mergers, except in extreme circumstances such as fraud, but to develop some less severe means of curing any problems that arise. (em LB
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