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Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 1998

Bootstrapping in 5 Steps FERC Trumps NERC Without Any Jurisdiction

Bruce W. Radford

1. IT'S NOT THE TAG, IT'S THE TRANSMISSION. "Coalition and its supporters are not so much challenging the information required by NERC's tagging plan, per se, as they are challenging what public utilities do with the information." FERC Order, slip opinion, p. 7.

2. AFTER ALL, WE LOVE TAGGING.

Off Peak

WHEN EXECUTIVES IN CHARGE OF ENERGY purchases for national, multi-site companies say, "Simplify my life," they mean it.

These executives are doing business nationwide with an average of 60 electricity suppliers. This figure will drop more than 80 percent to 11 suppliers once electric competition gets underway, according to RKS Research & Consulting's 1997 National Account Survey.

RKS Vice President Carmine Grastataro directed the study and oversaw focus groups of vice presidents of construction, energy management, retailer, health care and property management companies.

PSC - Restructuring Orders

Bruce W. Radford

PLANS OK'D for electric IOUs under New York's Competitive Opportunities docket.

CENTRAL HUDSON GAS & ELECTRIC CORP. RETAIL CHOICE: Offered to 8 percent of total load in 1998; additional 8 percent each year; choice for all by July 1, 2001. SAVINGS: $10.5 million to fund 5-percent rate cut for large industrials; all other rates frozen (since 1993) through June 30, 2001. Earmarks $24.5 million for incentives for residential, commercial and small industrial classes. Generation backout rate is highest among IOU restructuring plans.

The Cost of Reducing SO2 (It?s Higher Than You Think)

Anne E. Smith, Jeremy Platt, and A. Denny Ellerman

LAST YEAR, IN JUSTIFYING THE PROPOSED NEW NATIONAL AMBIENT Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter and ozone, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner testified that: "During the 1990 debates on the Clean Air Act's acid rain program, industry initially projected the costs of an emission allowance¼ to be approximately $1,500¼ Today those allowances are selling for less than $100." %n1%n

Later in 1997, at the White House briefing announcing President Clinton's Global Climate Change Plan, Katie McGinty, chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality, sa

Ready for CO2 Allowances? U.S. Passes on Emissions Cap, Kyoto or No

Elizabeth Striano

FOILING EXPECTATIONS OF BOTH SUPPORTERS AND detractors, the Clinton Administration's proposed electric restructuring legislation offered no new policy on carbon-dioxide emissions, such as a cap-and-trade program similar to that already in place for sulfur dioxide.

But don't breath a sigh of relief. The debate has only begun.

Many observers see the Administration's tactics on CO2 as an obvious attempt to sidestep a highly sensitive political issue. They appear to agree that at some point the Administration must confront CO2 emissions.

The Electric Competition Debate in...Texas

Joseph F. Schuler Jr.

PAT WOOD III LIKENS HIS JOB TO CLEARING THE UNDER-brush "so the general can march through."

The "general" is the Texas Legislature; Wood is chairman of the state Public Utility Commission; the battle is electric utility restructuring.

To an outsider, it looks like Wood's commission is way out in front of the state's elected officials. Legislators are adjourned this year but the seven-member Senate Interim Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring is doing its best to sort through hearings on market power, transmission and distribution, reliability and other issues.

The Electric Competition Debate in...Ohio

Joseph F. Schuler Jr.

WHAT IF YOUR STATE LEGISLATURE THREW A PARTY and you had to go? Best of all, this power party cost less than the one you went to (em and paid more to attend (em last year.

In simple terms, that's how some observe Ohio's latest proposal to convince the state's 11 million wary consumers to choose their electricity provider.

Two Republican state legislators have proposed the consumer-bent transitional system, called retail marketing areas or RMAs, as part of a broad electric restructuring program. The pair, Sen. Bruce E. Johnson and Rep. Priscilla D.

The Electric Competition Debate in...New York

Lori A. Burkhart

HAS DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN STATE HOUSE AND COMmission stalled electric industry restructuring efforts in New York?

Sheldon Silver, speaker of the New York State Assembly, insists the Legislature is busy working on comprehensive restructuring legislation for the state. He has expressed dismay at efforts of the New York Public Service Commission, which is restructuring the industry utility by utility.

Silver believes legislation offers the best chance to introduce competition quickly and efficiently, rather than through multiple, individual restructuring plans.

Frontlines

Joseph F. Schuler Jr.

THE NEW LOGOS ARE SPLASHED ON BASEBALL CAPS AND COFFEE MUGS, GOLF

shirts and hard hats. There's the three-year, $42-million advertising budget and the slick newspaper, radio and TV ads. There's the NASCAR race, the Touchstone Energysm 300.

But in two, easy-to-understand sentences, what does the new Touchstone Energy do? For an answer, I turned to Michael L. "Mickey" Miller of Kentucky's Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. Miller chairs Touchstone's executive council.

People

ENERGY SECRETARY Federico Peña announced April 6 that he was stepping down, effective June 30. Peña plans to pursue other career options in private business and tend to family matters. Peña said he was sure his deputy, Elizabeth Anne Moler, former chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was "right up there" on President Clinton's list of potential replacements.

Doris F. Galvin was elected vice president and treasurer of CMS Energy Corp. Galvin has served as vice president and treasurer of Consumers Energy, CMS Energy's principal subsidiary, since 1993.

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