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NARUC Turns Gaze Inward

Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 1996

After a year and two task forces, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) could soon have a new structure.

"With all these industry changes, we need to look internally, as commissions are also being asked to change, to see what changes will compliment what's happening out there in the industry," says John Gawronski, NARUC spokesman. "On one hand, it's how can we more effective (em not that we're not effective now, but how can we have a bigger presence."

Just what direction these changes may take will form part of the debate at NARUC's summer committee meetings in Los Angeles on July 21 and 22. Among the options:

. Eliminate. Phase out the transportation committee, now that the interstate Commerce Commission is defunct?

. Combine. Merge the electricity and energy conservation committees? "Energy conservation has taken on a more policy-oriented and policy-making role," Gawronski notes, thus invading the turf of the electricity committee. In the past, he says, the conservation committee looked "more specifically at programs."

. Strengthen. Make all committees as aggressive as the communications committee was during the debates leading up to the telecommunications bill?

. Restructure. Revamp NARUC's administrative offices?

In November, at its annual convention, the NARUC membership would vote on any proposed constitutional amendments that come out of the summer committee meetings.

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