Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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California Public Utilities Commission

S.F. Bay Area Cities Join Forces

Lori A. Burkhart

Municipalities in the San Francisco Bay area are joining together to form an electric buying group in anticipation of the deregulation of the California electric market. The group, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), will flex its collective buying power first in natural gas.

The Monolith is Cracking: Electric Restructuring and its Implications for Gas

Richard D. Kinder

The profound changes now occurring in the electric industry will most directly affect those who are engaged in the enterprises of generation, transmission, and distribution of power. But challenges and opportunities confront gas companies as well. Certainly, the electric industry will continue to influence markets for gas: both in bulk fuel supply and in retail energy.

California Extends Incentive Rate Plan

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a "positive" performance rating for the first year of a two-year, experimental performance-based rate program for San Diego Gas and Electric Co.'s gas procurement and electric generation and dispatch activities. It extended the plan another year, to facilitate the second year's annual review, and said it expects the plan to stay in place "well into the third year" of the trial. Re San Diego Gas & Elec. Co., Decision 95-04-051, Applica. 92-10-017, Apr. 26, 1995 (Cal.P.U.C.).

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Perspective

Cody L. Graves

Recently I had the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee on Energy Production and Regulation of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on legislation that would repeal the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). During the course of the hearing, Sen. Bennett Johnston (D-LA) made a comment that framed perfectly the

federal-state tensions currently affecting energy regulatory policy in America.

Sen.

FERC Sticks to CA PURPA Decision

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has upheld its February 22 ruling that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) violated federal law by not considering all electric power sources in determining the avoided costs of electric utilities (Docket Nos. EL95-16-001 and EL95-19-001). A unanimous FERC had found the CPUC's Biennial Resource Plan Update auction in violation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

"It could have been worse."

"It says to the market, `It won't be so bad.' It will take longer now, so that's better for the utilities."

"It creates a new bureaucratic entity that will make regulatory choices."

"It's regulated deregulation. It's alarming if that's the prototype for the nation."

That's the word, respectively, from Barry Abramson at Prudential Securities, Edward J. Tirello, Jr. of NatWest Securities, Steven Fetter at Fitch Investors Service, and Dan Scotto of Bear Stearns.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Summer's coming. Time for a breather, right? I only wish it were so.

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its electric "giga-NOPR" on transmission access, stranded investment, and Real-time Information Networks (RINs), the heat is on (em and rising. Congress is busy, too. It's working hard on telecommunications, nuclear waste, and privatization of the federal power marketing agencies, but the odds may be growing against repeal of PURPA (the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) or PUHCA (the Public Utility Holding Company Act.

People

Richard J. Grossi, chairman and CEO of United Illuminating Co., has been elected chairman of the North American Reliability Council. Grossi will serve a two-year term.

Thomas L. Fisher, president and CEO of Northern Illinois Gas Co. has been elected chairman of the Gas Research Institute's board of directors. Fisher will serve a one-year term, along with newly elected vice chairman, John F. Riordan, president and CEO of MidCon Corp.

Chairman Thomas G.

Tilting Toward Telephony: How Electric and Gas Companies Can Leverage Their Systems for a Changing Market

Andrew C. Barrett

The structure of the utility and telecommunications industries has changed significantly since I began my role as a regulator 15 years ago. Technological developments and a competitive environment, as opposed to regulation, have provided the major catalyst for change. As a result, utility companies, which have historically enjoyed the favor of Wall Street investors, will soon face unprecedented revenue growth problems.

NGVs -- Are Ratepayer Subsidies Appropriate?

Phillip S. Cross

According to the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (em a national organization of local natural gas distributors, pipelines, and equipment manufacturers promoting natural gas vehicles (NGVs) (em the U.S. government supports our country's continued reliance on petroleum-based fuels for transportation through billions in subsidies and tax incentives.

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