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Fortnightly Magazine - August 2003

The Carbon Conundrum

Technology exists to sequester carbon-but will utilities ever buy in?
Jennifer Alvey

Technology exists to sequester carbon-but will utilities ever buy in?

The vision: A nation filled with new, coal-fired power plants that provide inexpensive, secure power for Americans, while emitting few pollutants and sequestering the carbon dioxide produced. In other words, a power plant that not only industry and environmentalists can agree on, but one that utilities can finance and operate profitably.

Gas Crisis Forum: Prices Pointing Skyward!

Gas prices are likely to remain high in the near term.
John H. Herbert

Gas Crisis Forum: Is It Real, or Is It Hype?

Chicken Little has cornered the market on gas price doom and gloom, but the data is inconsistent on whether high gas prices are here to stay.
Robert S. Linden

Chicken Little has cornered the market on gas price doom and gloom, but the data is inconsistent on whether high gas prices are here to stay.

A near-universal consensus of alarm appears to be emerging concerning North American gas supply adequacy. The steady march upward of spot gas prices and NYMEX futures over the past year confirms this coalescence of market sentiment. Way back in June 2002, you could still buy Rocky Mountain wellhead production for about $1.25/MMBtu, although Eastern U.S. markets had already exceeded $3.00/MMBtu.

Frontlines

Forecasters seem at odds over timing for recovery of power prices and earnings.
Richard Stavros

People

New Positions:
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New Positions:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission established the position of deputy executive director for Homeland Protection and Preparedness, naming William F. Kane to fill the role. Kane previously oversaw the offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, Enforcement, Investigations, and the Regions.

Commission Watch

The commission nails companies, but orders payments.
Lori A. Burkhart

The commission nails companies, but orders payments.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally dealt with the many issues that arose out of the 2000/2001 California energy crisis. On June 25, FERC issued a slew of orders that settled some old disputes, gave a glimpse of the future, and offered insight into the commissioners' thinking.

Business & Money

The venerated process may get a makeover.
Michael T. Burr

The venerated process may get a makeover.

Like dough in the hands of a crazed pizza chef, merchant power generators have been tossed and turned in tumultuous markets over the past two years. Further uncertainties over market restructuring have pushed many merchants to the brink of despair-and beyond.

But on June 10, 2003, a glimmer of hope appeared at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and it came from an unexpected source: Entergy Services Inc., the holding company for Entergy's regulated utilities.

Technology Corridor

How the wind farm capacity factor and a tax subsidy can beef up a utility's bottom line.
Gary C. Young

How the wind farm capacity factor and a tax subsidy can beef up a utility's bottom line.

Many interested by a profit motive or an environmental motive wax eloquently about the economy of wind farms to generate electricity, since wind energy is an environmentally friendly source of energy or "green power." Thus, the interest in wind farms attracts the attention of citizens, environmental groups, politicians, and commercial companies.

Off Peak

In this Fortnightly parody, Interfaith Power & Light employees and users gather to celebrate a milestone.

In this Fortnightly parody, Interfaith Power & Light employees and users gather to celebrate a milestone.

"Maine Interfaith Power & Light announced Wednesday that it has enrolled 1,000 customers in its environmentally friendly electricity program since launching it on Jan. 23. This customer base is the largest ever for a fully renewable electricity offering in Maine." -Portland Press Herald, June 26, 2003