Bruce W. Radford
Speaking on June 11 in Washington, D.C., at a symposium sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Rep. dan Schaefer (R-Colo.) was heard to say that he would have his electric restructuring bill out of committee by the end of July. He said his bill would mandate electric competition by 2000--just the sort of deadline that Texas Public Utility Commission Chair Robert Gee likes to call a "Hong Kong" clause.
Will the millennium bring the dawn of customer choice? Here we are, halfway through 1997. Hong Kong is now Chinese, but in America we are still ratepayers.
New Environmental Technologies Inc. agreed to acquire Keystone Energy Services Inc. The new company will be called Keystone Energy Services. In an alliance with New Energy Ventures Inc., it plans to target the $22.5-billion California electric market. Keystone will re-sell part of the $500 million worth of power New Energy Ventures recently agreed to buy from the Bonneville Power Administration. Keystone will focus on small- to medium-sized electric consumers while its partner will target industrial, commercial and government accounts.
The California Public Utilities Commission elected members to two boards overseeing energy efficiency and low-income programs. The board for energy efficiency programs members are: Acting Chair Sara Steck Myers, CEERT; Dave Gamson, CPUC commissioner advisor; Michael Messenger, California Energy Commission; Peter Miller, Natural Resources Defense Council; Mark Thayer, San Diego State University; Ortensia Lopez, Greenlining Institute; Charles Goldman, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; Michael Shame, UCAN; and Don Schultz, CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates.
Hossein Haeri, M. Sami Khawaja, and Matei Perussi
Do mergers and "critical mass" really make a difference? The answer, it seems, is yes.
To become more competitive, U.S. electric utilities have embarked on a quest in recent years to improve operational efficiency and factor productivity. The question is: Are utilities making progress? And, which companies have gained a competitive edge? Which have not?
Industry analysts have long argued that given the structure of the markets they serve and their cost-based, rate-setting procedures, electric utilities tend toward monopolistic behavior.
Lori A. Burkhart
Five utility companies have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham against the Tennessee Valley Authority to bar it from making sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside TVA's service territory, claiming such sales violate the TVA Act.
"TVA is under more intense attack from private utilities than at any time in its history," said TVA Chair Craven Crowell at an April 15 at a meeting of the TVA Caucus in Washington, D.C.
Lori A. Burkhart
The Blue Ridge Power Agency has chosen Cinergy Corp. as the recommended supplier of wholesale electric power to five of its members during a seven-year period starting July 1, 1998.
Blue Ridge is a "joint action agency" that assists in making wholesale supply arrangements for eight municipal electric systems in the western part of Virginia. Cinergy replaces American Electric Power-Virginia as the power supplier, and beat out the other finalists (em AEP, Commonwealth Edison, Enron, and LG&E Power Marketing.
Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.) has joined the PacifiCorp board of directors. Simpson retired from the Senate earlier this year after serving three terms. Also at PacifiCorp, Dennis Steinberg, a senior v.p., was named head of global energy sales, marketing and trading. John Bohling, another senior v.p., will direct customer service, among other activities. Mike Henderson will head a new group for international business, technology and planning.
John M. Deutch has returned as a member of the CMS Energy Corp. Board of Directors. Deutch served on the board from 1986 to 1993.
Dennis L. Haider succeeded the retiring R.J. White as president of Prairielands Energy Marketing, Inc. Haider moved over from v.p.-operations for the Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co., another unit of MDU Resources Group Inc. Prairielands became a subsidiary of Williston Basin when Haider took over as president.
In a related development, Ronald G. Skarphol, a special projects manager of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., takes White's place as v.p.-marketing and business development. Montana-Dakota is another MDU division.
Lori A. Burkhart
AEP Communications Inc., the new telecommunications arm of American Electric Power Inc., has agreed with Sprint Communications Inc. to jointly construct a 150-mile fiber-optic line between Charleston, W. Va., and Roanoke, Va.
AEP and Sprint will share the expenses of building the fiber-optic line. The new line will allow AEP to provide its parent company with network upgrades, while Sprint will add alternate routing and additional capacity between the two cities. Construction begins this spring. (em LB
Richard Y. Roberts, commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for five years through July 1995, joined Reid & Priest. He'll work in the business, finance, infrastructure, government, utility and energy segment of the firm.
El Paso Energy International Co., a unit of El Paso Energy Corp., named a six-man management team, pulled from international operations and the recently acquired Tenneco Energy. Byron Kelley will be executive v.p.; John R. Cunningham will be v.p.-administration, engineering and asset management; William S.