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Fortnightly Magazine - November 2004

High Gas Prices: The Edge Comes Off

High Gas Prices:
John H. Herbert

High Gas Prices:

Conservation programs, plus an erosion in domestic manufacturing, will lead to a falloff in gas demand.

Transmission Upgrades: Who Pays?

Transmission Upgrades:
John Seelke

Transmission Upgrades:

How to allocate the costs.

Efforts to establish and quantify congestion-reduction and loss-reduction projects are progressing in electric markets with locational marginal price (LMP) regimes. The Path 15 upgrade approval by the California ISO two years ago was largely based upon its economic benefits. A draft report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), , states that ERCOT will consider transmission projects that are "economically justified by the reduction of congestion and losses."1

Return on Equity: A Survey of Recent Rate Cases From State PUCs

Ratemaking Special Report

Phillip S. Cross

(November 2004) Fixing an appropriate rate of return on equity (ROE) for electric utility investors marks a fundamental component of the typical cost-of-service rate case conducted across the nation by state public utility commissions (PUCs). The following survey demonstrates the results of such cases, as observed over the past year.

Regulatory Uncertainty: The Ratemaking Challenge Continues

Ratemaking Special Report
November 2004

Ratemaking Special Report

Regulatory Uncertainty:

In a joint survey conducted by Navigant Consulting and , utility executives identify the biggest challenge to their business.

No matter what position you subscribe to when characterizing the degree of competition in today's energy industry, it is clear that regulation continues to serve as a major influence on the business strategies and operations of the gas and electric distribution utilities in North America.

Frontlines

Moscow's ratification of the Kyoto protocol could pose problems for the United States.
Richard Stavros

Frontlines

Moscow's ratification of the Kyoto protocol could pose problems for the United States.

It could mark the biggest bungle of the last two administrations-the decision to walk away from the Kyoto Protocol rather than stay and negotiate to U.S. advantage. No one thought Russia would sign and put the treaty in force. But now that Russia's ratification appears imminent, policy wonks in America are scrambling to assess the impact.

People

New Opportunities:
St. Louis Business Journal

People

New Opportunities:

Jack Hawks, EPSA's current vice president of public affairs and planning, took on additional responsibilities as EPSA's acting vice president of policy. He replaced Julie Simon, who left the association to join Constellation Energy Group as a managing director. Hawks previously was vice president, Regulatory Policy, for PG&E National Energy Group.

Letters to the Editor / Corrections, Clarifications

August 2004, p. 62

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Robert Blohm's article, "Solving the Crisis in Unscheduled Power," () ignores a significant part of the power-scheduling paradigm-that is, it ignores transmission. Every power schedule not only includes load and generation but also a path to move the electricity between those points.

Power Measurements

What did LMPs tell us this summer in PJM's new neighborhood?
Aaron Brasket, Tom Ottem, and Mike McNair

Power Measurement

What did LMPs tell us this summer in PJM's new neighborhood?

With one summer under its belt as a member of PJM, ComEd has been called a complete success by some, boring by others. On the whole, prices in the region were quite flat, and spreads between the 1,281 price nodes in the region were small to non-existent. In fact, the best opportunity for a generator to make money in this market was to export power to a neighboring market.

Perspective

How the filed-rate policy wreaks havoc- and what courts can do about it.
Jim Rossi

Perspective

How the filed-rate policy wreaks havoc- and what courts can do about it.

Like many venerable legal rules, the filed-rate doctrine is rarely questioned. Over the last century, it has served many important purposes. However, with deregulated wholesale electric power markets at the federal level and various degrees of deregulation across the states, both the doctrine's continued applicability and usefulness are suspect.

Commission Watch

FERC Versus Bankruptcy Jurisdiction:
John P. Ratnaswamy

Commission Watch

FERC Versus Bankruptcy Jurisdiction:

Two recent articles in the 1 discussed conflicts that have emerged in the last 18 months over the respective jurisdictions of bankruptcy courts under the Bankruptcy Code2 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act.3 This occurs when a debtor seeks the bankruptcy court's approval under Section 365(a) of the code4 to reject a wholesale electricity sales contract that is a FERC-jurisdictional rate.

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