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Behind the Limelight: An Interview with the Advisors for Five Key Regulators

Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1998

Board we do a darn good job of moving reasonably quickly on parties' petitions.

What is the most important issue your boss faces at the moment? The obvious one: the future of the electric industry. The second obvious one is the future of the telecommunications industry. Those two industries together, total revenues just jurisdictionally in this state, are roughly equal to the total budget of the state government¼ So the immediate concern is how to contain those costs.

How is seamless policy developed while faces on the commission change? Well on the board itself, only one face on the board has changed in the last six years. So on the board, [it's not an issue]. On the staff, we've had very, very little turnover.

What is the most common misperception of regulators? How do you change that? I'll tell you this one misperception we always get: a belief that the board makes its rate case decisions by closing its eyes and cutting the positions of the parties down the middle. And I have to tell you: That is not true. That is not how we do it here. We go item by item through the cost of service.

Joseph F. Schuler Jr. is senior associate editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly.

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