Calendar of Events

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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Commission

NARUC Considers PUHCA Reform, GRI Funding

Lori A. Burkhart

At the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) winter committee meetings in Washington, DC, the executive committee passed a resolution that Congress should not hold hearings on reforms to the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) until the Securities and Exchange Commission has completed its investigation on the implications of repeal or substantial modification.

Electricity Futures Go West

W. Lynn Garner

The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) has decided to seek approval of two electricity futures contracts in the West. One will be based on delivery at the California/

Oregon border; the other on delivery at the Palo Verde generating plant in Arizona. NYMEX hopes to have the contracts in place by the fourth quarter of this year.

R.

People

The Southern Company named A.W. (Bill) Dahlberg chairman and CEO in addition to his current duties as president. He succeeds Edward L. Addison, 65, who is retiring after 12 years as CEO and more than 40 years with the company. Dahlberg, 54, served as president since January 1, 1994. He began his career with The Southern Company at age 19 when he joined Georgia Power, a subsidiary, as a meter installer.

Ralph Johnson was named v.p., power resources, for the Texas-New Mexico Power Co.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

As a student of utility regulation, you will of course know the difference between the Ninth and the Tenth Amendments. If not, let's reiterate.

The Ninth permits everything that is not prohibited. The Tenth prohibits everything not otherwise permitted. The one governs the People; the other governs the Government. That's all there is. Now imagine standing on both feet behind a podium, in front of a luncheon crowd of about 100 think-tank types, and holding an audience spellbound for over an hour as you expound upon this noble topic.

Natural Gas Pipelines: Roadmap to Reform

Frank A. Felder and Scott T. Jones

Gas pipeline reform is looming on the horizon like the stealth bomber. It faded from view a couple years ago, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) completed Order 636 and turned to electric issues. Yet gas reforms are more pressing: They began earlier, their direction is clearer, and their completion is closer at hand. In fact, without a more price-responsive market for gas transportation, we cannot fashion an efficient and integrated energy industry.

Rethinking the Secondary Market for Natural Gas Transportation

Ronald C. Denhardt

This year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plans to examine the resale of firm natural gas transportation rights, often referred to as the secondary market. The current regulatory structure, which provides for "capacity release" through an electronic bulletin board (EBB), was born in November 1993. How would this secondary market behave under different regulatory or market assumptions?

The Electric and Gas Industries are Converging: What Does it Mean?

Vinod K. Dar

RETAIL DEREGULATION:

A TRANSFORMING EVENT

Retail sales of gas and electricity run about $300 billion a year. The deregulation of energy production, wholesale logistics, and bulk consumption has brought competition to about 40 to 45 percent of the value chain from wellhead and busbar to the retail meter.

Court Upholds NRC Dry Cask Storage Rule

Phillip S. Cross

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) decision approving the VSC-24 concrete cask for storing spent nuclear fuels. The generic approval of the technology permitted Consumers Power Co. to construct dry cask facilities at its Palisades nuclear project and begin loading spent fuel. The State of Michigan and owners of land near the Palisades plant claimed that the Atomic Energy Act required the NRC to hold hearings to consider site-specific issues.

D.C. Has Second Thoughts About Transition Costs

Phillip S. Cross

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission (PSC) will permit Washington Gas Light Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to continue collecting Order 636 pipeline transition charges through its purchased-gas adjustment clause (PGA), but "questions" whether the costs should become a standard PGA element. The PSC set the matter aside for further review, voicing concern over the "potentially unchecked magnitude" of the costs absent regulatory oversight.

DSM Rate Surcharge Remanded in PA

Phillip S. Cross

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has overturned and remanded parts of a ruling by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) that allows electric companies to impose rate surcharges to recover costs associated with demand-side management (DSM) programs, including lost revenues and incentives for program performance. The court ruled that state law limits recovery of incentives or the costs of physical facilities to base rate proceedings.

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