Calendar of Events

Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY
May 05, 2014 to May 08, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada

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Public Utilities Reports

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Congress

Senate Panel Continues Inquiry into Electricity'sw Future

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

If the new rules of electric industry competition don't permit stranded-cost recovery, the credibility of the U.S. government would be seriously undermined. Or so an executive of one of the country's largest utilities told a Senate energy panel."We just have to keep in mind we incurred these costs based under what the rules were," said Jerry Jackson of Entergy Corp. "If the government is going to change those rules . . .

New Study Finds Government Should Privatize TVA, PMAs

Lori A. Burkhart

The Reason Foundation, a public policy research organization, has issued a report, Federal Power: The Case For Privatizing Electricity, recommending privatization of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the five power marketing administrations (PMAs).

Perspective

Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr.

The 129 federally owned plants that make up the five PMAs generate about 6 percent of the electricity sold in the United States.1 By law, the PMAs sell wholesale power at cost to legally stipulated "preference customers" (em i.e., municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives.

NARUC in Winter

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Resolutions generated heat (electricity) and warmth

(telecommunications, environment).

State utility commissioners have gone on record asking Congress to "call them first" before it legislatively restructures the electric industry.

That resolution prompted some of the liveliest debate at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) Winter Committee meetings. About 1,000 people attended the 10-day event in Washington, DC, February 21 to March 1.

PURPA Debate Inches Forward in House

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Divest yourself of generating plants or allow retail sales by competitors, and PURPA's mandatory purchase clause in section 210 will no longer hold.

That's the basic deal to be offered to investor-owned electric utilities under the Electric Power Competition Act of 1996 (H.R. 2929), a new bill to amend the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) introduced by Rep. Edward J.

People

Ann R. Chamberlain will manage rates and regulations, and plan and procure gas supplies in her new v.p. position with Virginia Natural Gas, Inc. She steps up from assistant v.p.

Boston Pacific Co., Inc. has added John T. Chang to the company's international power project development practice. He comes from Iroquois Gas Transmission System. Jonathan d'E. Coony was promoted to consultant and will continue work on financial evaluation of power projects in Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries.

"Play Ball" Telecom Bill Winds Up, Delivers

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

"What now?"

That was the question on the minds of representatives from local telephone exchange carriers (LECs) who huddled at the United States Telephone Association (USTA) National Issues Conference days before legislators passed sweeping telecommunications legislation that would affect everyone's future.

But the question went beyond what would become law when President Clinton fulfilled his promise to sign the bill.

Marketing & Competing

James R. Pierobon

"This legislation represents a piecemeal approach to a problem which requires deliberate and thoughtful consideration .... [It] could lead to 'cream-skimming,' which would result in increased rates for the remaining business and residential customers" (Lincoln Almond, Governor of Rhode Island).

Words to this effect are likely to grace vetoes of retail wheeling legislation by governors and maybe the President of the United States for the foreseeable future.

Perspective

Stephen Maloney

A century ago, Congress conveyed valuable public property to certain entrepreneurs to serve the public interest. In exchange, these entrepreneurs agreed to carry the nation's principal means of communication at fair cost and, of course, serve the national defense.

In 1850, with a commitment to move the mail at fixed rates and freely transport federal troops hither and yon, a swath of public land was granted to the Illinois Central to connect Chicago with Mobile.

Rural Electric Tries a Little English

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

"Anyone who assumes rural electric cooperatives will not be fully engaged in whatever system we have . . . if they assume the more competitive it becomes, the less we'll be engaged . . . they're very wrong."

(em Glenn English, CEO,

National Rural Electric

Cooperative Association

Ten terms as a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma's Sixth District taught Glenn English how to build consensus.

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