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Fortnightly Magazine - January 1 1998

Restructuring Hearings: Much Work Is Left Congress Lacks Consensus; Administration Offers No Input

Lori A. Burkhart

AT HIS 21ST HEARING ON FEDERAL ELECTRIC Restructuring, Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-Colo.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, said the two-day proceedings were the "beginning" of developing consensus on legislation.

Fellow subcommittee members spoke out on competitive issues at the Oct. 21 hearing, which highlighted their lack of consensus. The Clinton Administration was represented by the Department of Energy's Deputy Secretary, Elizabeth Moler, who said nothing about its restructuring plans.

Off Peak

WHO HAD THE BEST ANNUAL REPORT COVER in the utility industry in 1997? It's a tough choice. Several covers emerged from the masses of standard-issue, black-type-on-white (or off-white) backgrounds. Which leads us to Public Utilities Fortnightly's first annual report cover "award" for the best of in a variety of untraditional categories.

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Unbundling: An Excuse for Cost Shifting?

Jim Lundrigan

The article "Risk and Rates for the Regulated Distribution," by Maloney, McCormick, and Tyler (Sept. 1, 1997, p. 26) was interesting. For people with the vested interests of the authors, unbundling offers the golden opportunity of reducing regulated rates without actually having a formal rate decrease. That comes about by shifting on paper as much revenue as possible from the regulated disco to the competitive genco, while of course leaving all the costs with which that revenue is associated within the disco.

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