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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DC

States Differ on Capacity-release Revenues

Phillip S. Cross

Bucking the current trend among state utility regulators, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (URC) has denied a request by Northern Indiana Public Service Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to retain a portion of the revenues it receives from pipeline capacity-release transactions. The LDC asked the URC to permit shareholders to retain 50 percent of the revenues gained from participation in the "secondary market" for interstate pipeline capacity instead of flowing them back to ratepayers through the quarterly gas-cost adjustment (GCA) mechanism.

Mojave Gets Green Light, But Troubles Persist

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued an order denying rehearing, effectively allowing Mojave Pipeline Co. (MP) to construct and operate its Northward Expansion Facilities in California (Docket No. CP93-258-007). The FERC has already issued five substantive orders in the proceeding.

Especially contentious was the clash with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) over jurisdiction, leading to a February 1995 FERC order holding that the Northward Expansion was an interstate pipeline subject to federal oversight.

Power Pundits Make Their Pitches

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Two congressmen and a Clinton Administration official recently weighed in on the future of electric industry deregulation, giving observers an inkling of what they might expect in legislation or policy this year.

Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), the ranking minority member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, spoke before the Electric Generation Association (EGA) January 22. Just three days later he introduced S. 1526.

Perspective

Robert L. Hirsch

With little fanfare, most aspects of the U.S. energy system seem to have settled into a fairly stable, predictable pattern. To my mind, we have reached an "energy plateau" likely to persist for maybe a decade or more into the future.

Energy is not now high on the radar screen of the general public, so there is little public pressure for significant change in the U.S. energy system.

People

William T. O'Connor, Jr. has been hired as nuclear assessment manager at Detroit Edison's Fermi 2 nuclear power plant. He comes from Toledo Edison's Davis-Besse nuclear plant, where he was regulatory affairs manager.

Daniel Bollom, WPS Resources Corp. CEO, has been promoted to chairman of the board. Larry Weyers, senior v.p.-power supply and engineering, was promoted to president and COO of both WPSR and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., one of WPSR's holdings.

FERC's Mega-NOPR: The IOUs Respond

Brian Gish

It comes as no surprise that regulated investor-owned utilities (IOUs) hold divergent views on the restructuring of the electric industry. Size, generation cost, transmission access, customer loyalty, and the friendliness of state regulators all factor into their individual visions of restructuring.

Wisc. Adopts Code of Conduct for LDC Marketing Affiliates

Phillip S. Cross

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved an affiliated interest agreement between Madison Gas & Electric Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), and its subsidiary Great Lakes Energy Corp., an energy marketer, to reflect changing conditions in the retail market for natural gas. The approved agreement separates all gas procurement and sales functions, including physical separation of employees of both companies.

Perspective

Ruth K. Kretschmer

If you attended any energy conference in the past year, even one on natural gas, I am confident that at least one panel was devoted to the restructuring of the electric industry.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Anyone on the East Coast can tell you a good snow story this winter. Like when I looked out my front window one morning and saw a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle get stuck in the middle of my street in downtown Washington. After spinning his wheels for a while, the driver got out and began walking toward Connecticut Avenue, a main DC thoroughfare.

The driver soon returned, carrying a fresh, steaming cafe latte from Starbucks in each gloved hand. He opened the door, climbed in, and gave one cup to his passenger.

Is Bigger Better? Market Power in Bulk-Power Supply: From FDR to NoPR

Wallace Edward Brand

The merger voltage (I) is rising on the electric grid, but it remains to be seen which will win out: current (E) policy or resistance (R) to it.

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