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Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 2003

People

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The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, by an 18-2 vote, approved Joseph T. Kelliher's nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Kelliher's approval follows his second nomination by President Bush. Bush also nominated New Mexico attorney Suedeen G. Kelly to fill the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2004.

Letter to the Editor

Unsurprising Apathy
Public Utilities Fortnightly's

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to some of the issues raised in March 1, 2003, "Gas Executives' Forum." While it is admirable that executives featured in this issue, such as Bruce C. Klink, Dominion East Ohio's vice-president of regulation and pricing, and Isaac Blythers, president of Atlanta Gas Light Co., have begun making strides and meeting many of the obstacles of gas deregulation, the reality is that the success of gas choice programs continues to be mixed.

Perspective

Flexibility is key as FERC moves toward a final rule.
James Fama

Flexibility is key as FERC moves toward a final rule.

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its vision last July to standardize the rules governing U.S. bulk power markets, the nation's reaction to this standard market design (SMD) could safely be called swift and fervent.

Benchmarks

Three keys to heighten customer interest.
Nathan Adams

Three keys to heighten customer interest.

A recently completed analysis of innovative ratemaking in the electric utility industry by Platts Re-search & Consulting found a handful of customer-centric utilities expermenting with novel innovations in ratemaking, although most continue to miss the boat on this form of product differentiation.

Commission Watch

FERC faces a growing chorus of rebellion on earnings incentives.
Phillip S. Cross and Bruce W. Radford

FERC faces a growing chorus of rebellion on earnings incentives.

"If I may say, today, we the states are the chosen ones." That was Virginia utility commissioner Hullihen ("Hulli") W. Moore, speaking on the phone in January with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Pat Wood and other federal and state regulators, trying to untangle the business of transmission reform.

Business & Money

In a "like kind exchange" transaction, the IRS permits a seller to defer taxes on its inherent gain on assets being sold.
Thomas V. Glynn and J. Michael Parish

In a "like kind exchange" transaction, the IRS permits a seller to defer taxes on its inherent gain on assets being sold.

The utility community is starting to experiment with a "like kind exchange" (LKE)-a type of tax-advantaged asset acquisition and disposition transaction used extensively in connection with commercial real estate and various types of personal property, but which heretofore has not achieved widespread acceptance in the utility industry.

Technology Corridor

The instant messaging wildfire spreads to the utilities industry.
Jennifer Alvey

The instant messaging wildfire spreads to the utilities industry.

Utilities are starting to take a good, hard look at incorporating instant messaging (IM) into their business. (Never heard of IM? Check out our primer in the sidebar.)

Off Peak

Spotlight Shines Again on 'Cool Losers'

Noting that "American Idol" may have "met its match," the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) recently revealed the winner of its "Coolest Loser" contest. The award is given to the most energy-inefficient refrigerator, based on appearance and condition.

America's Canadian Problem

U.S.-Canada electricity trade is shrinking, and some American companies may be left without their megawatts for the summer.
Charles W. Thurston

LNG Moves In On Western Markets

What are the potential market impacts of LNG importation in the Western United States?
Andrew Rea, Jonathan Jacobs, and Mike Marelli

 

What are the potential market impacts of LNG importation in the Western United States?

Significant interest in the development of on-shore liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities in the Western United States has emerged in the past several years. This interest has been spurred by the dramatic increases forecast for new merchant generation in the Southwest, and particularly California.

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