Calendar of Events

Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC


Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

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Frontlines & Op-Ed

The Doomsday Scenario

Debt + secret triggers = another Enron.

Much the same way that bankers used to worry about a "run on the bank," where there is an overwhelming demand for liquidity that causes a solvent bank to fail, so should energy companies be worried that their use of material adverse change (MAC) clauses might trigger an overwhelming demand for liquidity that causes a once solvent energy company to fail. Of course, the banks now have the Fed to protect the financial system from a liquidity crisis. No such luck for the energy industry.

Politically Inelastic?

Electric pricing issues are hard to overcome.

Do politicians really mean what they say when they call for competitive markets in electricity at the wholesale and retail levels? Rivals of California Gov. Gray Davis champion competitive electric markets. But what if, after elections, California markets are then fixed (with unanimous consent), and prices continue to be high? Will that politician still stand behind competitive markets?

California: Beginning Anew

The 2002 rhetoric sounds like pro-electric competition, but is it too little, too late?

It's no secret that Californians like happy endings. Just look at most Hollywood movies, which like to tie up the story's loose ends in less than two hours (usually). But in its recent efforts to tie up the loose ends left from the California Crisis, is the state setting itself up for a sequel, California Crisis II: A Not So Beautiful Market.

Forgetting Someone, Mr. Secretary?

The DOE's new hydrogen car initiative won't get very far without electric utilities.

It was a "classic" publicity event-long on vision, but short on substance. There he was, the Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE), Spencer Abraham, standing toe-to-toe with each of the heads of the "Motown Three." The big announcement, on Jan. 9, was that the DOE and the nation's carmakers would create a public-private partnership to promote hydrogen as a primary fuel for cars and trucks, as part of America's effort to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

Pat Packs a Punch

FERC's new chairman runs roughshod over a reeling industry.

The defining moment came late in the morning, Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the last meeting of the year for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. That's when the TV cameraman spied former FERC chair Betsy Moler sitting in the audience, and trained his lens on her. As she looked up, she saw her image staring back from the flat-screen monitors scattered about the hearing room. But her shoulders were slumping. The cameraman could not know that the commissioners up at the head table had just stabbed her in the heart.


Enron makes an exit; FERC cost-based rates return.

You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank.


Energy companies' best-laid plans in 2001 were put on hold, after circumstance and fate stepped in.
Richard Stavros


The Year of Living Dangerously


Bruce Radford


Camp Flowgate




Enron holds court on electric restructuring, exposing deep industry divisions and the polarization of views.
Richard Stavros


An Invitation From Ken Lay



Utilities face huge costs of complying with new EPA standards.
Richard Stavros


The Brink of Ruin?