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Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 2003

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.

PUHCA Companies: Caught By Superfund

An analysis of holding company liability under federal Superfund and parallel state laws.
Kenneth R. Myers, Esq.

An analysis of holding company liability under federal Superfund and parallel state laws.

Environmental cleanup to meet federal and state requirements carries substantial costs that tend to rest disproportionately on public utilities. Looking back at their corporate history, a few utilities have discovered some unique tools to reduce this economic burden.

The LMP Model: Bottlenecking Merchant Transmission

Locational marginal pricing has not been adequate in providing transmission expansion incentives. Others are needed.
Kevin B. Jones, Ph.D., David Clarke, and James Parmelee

Frontlines

Merchant plants snub the market, using native load to create their own private rate base.
Bruce W. Radford

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.

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