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Far From Closure: No Consensus Yet on Accounting Proposal for Decommissioning

Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 1997

Feb. 7, 1996.

2For more details, see, "Evolution or Revolution? Dismantling the FASB Standard on Decommissioning Costs," PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY, May 15, 1996, p. 16.

3The proposed standards would require either of two treatments: 1) Liability, in which the company would recognize the obligation as it occurs (at construction, for most utility properties); or 2) Cash, which would cover all costs not requiring liability treatment and allow companies to incorporate removal costs into depreciation only to the extent that it offsets salvage.

4That discounting should be applied only when the "aggregate amount of the obligation and the amount and timing of the cash payments for that site are fixed or reliably determinable."

5"The quality of information that assures that information is reasonably free from error and bias and faithfully represents what it purports to represent."

6Some regulators took the opposite approach. They showed concern that the board would limit their flexibility in deciding when costs could be reflected in tariffs.

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