(August 2008) Luminant (the former TXU power generation unit) announced that Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson joined the company as senior vice president of public affairs. ...
UTILITY HOUSE CALLS. Michigan Gov. John Engler (R) signed into law a bill making it a felony to impersonate a utility employee to enter private property for criminal purposes. The new law calls for those convicted to be imprisoned for not more than two years and to pay a maximum fine of $1,000, or both.
ELECTRIC RESTRUCTURING. Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar (R) signed into law an electric restructuring bill for the state. Edgar noted that concerns over the bill were addressed by the state's two largest utilities, Commonwealth Edison and Illinois Power Co. The companies agreed not to sell any power plants before a rate cut becomes effective Aug. 1. The bill, signed in December, calls for a 20-percent residential rate decrease for the two utilities; 15 percent on Aug. 1 and 5 percent on May 1, 2002.
MIDWEST ELECTRIC FUTURES. The Minneapolis Grain Exchange asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to approve its listing of electric futures and options contracts reflecting the value of electricity in seven midwestern states and two Canadian provinces. The contracts would be based on electric delivered in Minneapolis-St.Paul at facilities owned by Northern States Power. One contract would reflect the value of 736 megawatt-hours of peak electricity; the other would reflect off-peak deliveries of 368 Mwh.
Studies & Reports
HIGHER ELECTRIC RATES. Residents of Kentucky may pay much more for electricity because of changes in regulation of the power industry, according to a study released by agricultural economists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Electrical rates and usage patterns in four rural Kentucky counties were analyzed and showed that rates could increase almost 45 percent. Study projected probable effects on families, businesses and local economies if federal deregulation results in a more uniform national price for electricity.
RISING GAS USE. The American Gas Association released a forecast that said natural gas consumption would reach an all-time high in 1998, surpassing the record levels set in 1972. The A.G.A. sees natural gas use reaching 23.3 quadrillion Btu, or quads this year.
THE MUNICIPAL GAS AUTHORITY OF GEORGIA, representing 75 public agencies in three states, entered a 10-year natural gas supply contract with Columbia Energy Services, a Columbia Gas System subsidiary. The Gas Authority began purchasing 12 billion BTU per day of natural gas from Columbia on Jan. 1.
Eastern Enterprises agreed to acquire Essex County Gas Co. in a stock-for-stock transaction. Based on shares outstanding Dec. 1, the transaction has an equity value of $80.5 million, or $47.50 per share. When the merger is complete, Essex County Gas will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastern and as a sister company of Boston Gas Co.
Standard & Poor's will replace Union Electric Co. in the S&P 500 Index with Ameren Corp., the new company to be formed by the merger of Union Electric Co. and CIPSCO Inc.
Citizen Utilities acquired Ogden Telephone Co. by purchasing Odgen's common stock for about $23.5 million. Holders of a single share of Odgen common stock will receive about 18.5 shares of Citizen's