The National Coal Council has released the findings of a major new study on coal prepared at the request of former DOE Secretary Hazel O'Leary, which found that while the generation of electricity from coal has increased, emission of pollutants from coal has decreased.
A similar report was released in April, conducted by Mills-McCarthy & Associates, and sponsored by the Western Fuels Association, Inc., the National Mining Association, and the Center for Energy and Economic Development.
Strategic Energy Ltd. has premiered a "Virtual Utility," allowing electric consumers to shop nationwide for the best-priced power. Strategic Energy's control center will allow it to access real-time energy information and travel the grid to find available electricity.
"This is the beginning of the end of increasing electric rates for consumers nationwide," said Rick Zomnir, president of Strategic Energy Ltd.
Glenn D. Meyers, Buckner Wallingford II, and Horace J. DePodwin
And why policy on
stranded costs defies
a traditional legal or
There are sound economic reasons why policymakers should allow electric utilities to recover stranded costs through a competitively neutral network access charge, or some similar fee. First, differences in the quality of utility management appear to have contributed little to differences in electricity rates among states.
The Blue Ridge Power Agency has chosen Cinergy Corp. as the recommended supplier of wholesale electric power to five of its members during a seven-year period starting July 1, 1998.
Blue Ridge is a "joint action agency" that assists in making wholesale supply arrangements for eight municipal electric systems in the western part of Virginia. Cinergy replaces American Electric Power-Virginia as the power supplier, and beat out the other finalists (em AEP, Commonwealth Edison, Enron, and LG&E Power Marketing.
Ask this question: Are Investors today earning what they thought they would, back when they last had faith in regulation?
As their customers discover more competitive prices, many utilities remain saddled with the costs of uneconomic plant and power purchase contracts approved under regulation. They seek compensation for these costs, but the amount deserves a close examination.
Some utilities seek remuneration that exceeds the market value of their common stock. Such a settlement seems overly generous for investors, who will continue to own their shares after the payoff.
A Contentious Bill Passes Senate (em Two Votes Shy of Blocking a Veto
Recently passed by the U.S. Senate, nuclear waste bill S. 104 lies mired in quicksand, facing a promised presidential veto, not to mention attacks from senators representing those states targeted for possible waste storage sites. Disposal of waste from the nation's nuclear generating plants has turned into possibly the most contentious issue on Capitol Hill.
Touted as a panacea for stranded costs, securitization would forever shield rates from market scrutiny.
We consumers display an amazing talent to squander the fruits of our labor on the whim of the moment. Examples might include bungee jumping, vanity license plates or pet rocks. Or just about anything you might find in a magazine stuffed in the back of an airline seat.
Now make way for electric utility restructuring, where the latest fashion calls for securitization of uneconomic costs.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Maryland Public Service Commission have approved the merger of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. to form Constellation Energy Corp.
However, the stiff terms for approval (em including mandatory rate cuts (em have prompted the utilities to claim they might abandon the merger.
"When was the demise of the regulatory bargain? What you say is true, but at some point you had to know the bargain was over."
(em A state utility commissioner
"Beats me, it doesn't seem to be over yet. The electric industry still has a duty to serve all customers, and it must charge below-market rate confiscatory for many of our services because of the regulatory bargain.
Five utility companies have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham against the Tennessee Valley Authority to bar it from making sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside TVA's service territory, claiming such sales violate the TVA Act.
"TVA is under more intense attack from private utilities than at any time in its history," said TVA Chair Craven Crowell at an April 15 at a meeting of the TVA Caucus in Washington, D.C.
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