John S. Ferguson: I concur with Mark Williams’ assessment that the proposed KKR/TPG acquisition of TXU through a leveraged buyout (LBO) may “have negative consequences for Texas customers,” which he indicates as being a consequence of the nature of an LBO. I think it is more likely a consequence of the nature of the restructuring imposed by the Texas Legislature.
Stephen L. Teichler and Ilia Levitine: We take it with good humor that Scott Strauss and Jeffrey Schwartz used our report on the 9th Circuit’s recent Mobile-Sierra decisions as a foil to the grand argument that courts should return to the “statutory roots” in their interpretation of Mobile-Sierra.
How enterprise risk management practices impact the Standard & Poor’s rating process.
About a year ago, Standard & Poor’s expanded the methodology used to review and assess the enterprise risk management practices of U.S. energy firms with trading desks. The methodology, known as the PIM framework, focuses on the three aspects of policies, infrastructure, and methodology, and produces a comprehensive evaluation of a firm’s risk management. The importance of each of these aspects in a company’s risk culture, and our opinion of its risk management quality, will depend on that company’s size, complexity, and range of risk.
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.
(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...
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.
The North American electric-power sector remains highly fragmented, with much consolidation potential.
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.
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.
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.
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