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Fortnightly Magazine - June 2007

A Climate Emergency?

Capacity shortages from global warming should be the real cause for alarm.

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

Suppose the experts are wrong about climate change. Suppose they’ve underestimated the impact of global warming. Of course, to longtime readers of Public Utilities Fortnightly, the idea that a warming climate might force adjustments in utility resource plans is nothing new.

People

(June 2007) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the selection of Darren B. Ash as CIO and deputy executive director for information services. The Westar Energy Inc. board of directors announced that William Moore will succeed CEO James Haines. Energen Corp. shareholders re-elected five members to the diversified energy company’s board of directors. The Electric Power Supply Association announced the addition of Conrad Lass to EPSA’s senior staff as vice president of legislative affairs. And others...

Money Talks, Thermal Plants Walk

Why it pays for utilities to be more efficient.

Christian Hamaker

Working as chairman and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, the research institute he cofounded in 1982, Amory Lovins continues to sell his ideas to a more receptive industry, and he doesn’t hesitate to go after counter-arguments with which he disagrees.

Asset Ownership Takes New Shape

The North American electric-power sector remains highly fragmented, with much consolidation potential.

Devrim Albuz

During the last few years, the generating asset-ownership structure in North America has gone through a major change. During one of the most severe bust cycles of the industry, and the gradual recovery of the markets, significant amounts of assets have changed hands.

Where Have All the Mergers Gone?

EPACT and the repeal of PUHCA have not affected the pace of utility acquisitions.

Elliot Roseman and Kimberly Richardson

Why do we still have several hundred shareholder-owned electric utilities in the United States, not to mention several thousand municipal and cooperative ones?

Rating the New Risks

How trading hazards affect enterprise risk management at utilities.

Terry Pratt, Arleen Spangler, Richard Cortright, and Steve Dreyer

Over the past 15 years, trading’s role at utility companies has evolved substantially from ensuring sufficient power and fuel supplies for ratepayers to taking large, open, and speculative positions and maximizing asset value. Along with that evolution come a host of new business and financial risks for utilities.

The New Balance of Power

Do states have any rights in siting LNG terminals?

William A. Mogel and Shuchi Batra

Natural gas often is called the world’s most perfect fuel. And since it can be transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, as LNG, is projected to meet 20 percent of the country’s natural-gas requirements by 2025, the construction of onshore LNG terminals is crucial for the United States. Siting of LNG terminals is contentious as states and a range of stakeholders challenge and seek to frustrate FERC’s permitting authority.

2007 CEO Forum: Greenhouse Gauntlet

Tackling climate change is a monumental challenge. Power-company CEOs discuss long-range plans for a climate-friendly energy economy.

Michael T. Burr

Seven CEOs—from Exelon, Great Plains Energy, National Grid, NRG Energy, Duke Energy, FPL Group, Great River Energy—explain how global warming is affecting their customers, shareholders, and employees.

Clean Air Rules: A New Roadmap for the Power Sector

How new market-based regulations fit with today’s programs.

Sam Napolitano, Melanie LaCount, James O. Lee, Beth Murray, Mary Shellabarger, and Sam Waltzer

What do the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the Clean Air Mercury Rule, and the Clean Air Visibility Rule require of the power sector? Authors from the Environmental Protection Agency review implementation progress.

Carbon Costs: The Coming Battle

Where are prices going, and where have they been?

Caroline Gentry and Jamie Webster

The Supreme Court’s recent decision empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide shifted momentum toward a mandatory program to cap greenhouse-gas emissions. Eventually, there will be huge implications for power generation.

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