According to Standard & Poor's (S&P), the recently reauthorized federal Safe Drinking Water Act should have a favorable, long-term credit impact on investor-owned water utilities.
The new act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to give states the flexibility to modify testing and monitoring requirements based on a local water system's actual health-risk exposure. The act will also form a state revolving fund program, which will assist small water systems in complying with regulations and in conducting other drinking water projects.
Georgia Commissioner Stan Wise says he is very unhappy with the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require states to deaverage the cost of providing telephone service for companies that want to compete with the regional Bell operating carriers, such as BellSouth.
(The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit enjoined some aspects of the FCC rules on October 15. See, Courts and Commission, In Brief, p.
As electric restructuring rockets to the top of state public utility commission agendas, regulators find themselves pushed in every direction. Pushing the hardest, in most cases, are legislators, who, like commissioners, are being lobbied by utilities, industrial consumers, and sometimes, residential customers. Each party has its agenda. Some wield more clout than others.
Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight commissioners about the demands of restructuring and about an issue particular to their state.
A Stock-price Premium for DSMA rise in DSM spending (as a percentage of total expenditures) indicated
an increase in market-to-book ratio.
For electric utilities, financial and managerial attributes such as rate of return or the dividend payout ratio often exert a strong positive effect on the market-to-book (M/B) ratio (em the ratio of the company's stock price divided by book value.
Telco Interconnection Rules. Federal appeals court enjoins pricing aspect of rules published August 8 by the Federal Communications Commission to govern sale at wholesale of local exchange service elements by Bell system local carriers to new competitors (who would resell such elements to provide competitive local telephone services). Finds possibility of irreparable harm plus likelihood that Bell carriers might prevail on the merits of jurisdictional issues. No. 96-3406, Oct. 15, 1996 (8th Cir.).
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has again turned down a request by a cogeneration developer (QF) to collect capacity payments for the entire 20-year term of a purchased-power contract with Commonwealth Electric (CE), despite conflicting advice from the state supreme court.
Last year, in remanding a similar DPU ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Court had suggested that a contract price violates the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) if it does not include any capacity payments for most of its term.
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