Calendar of Events

Oct 20, 2014 to Oct 23, 2014 | Orlando, FL
Oct 27, 2014 to Oct 31, 2014 | Clearwater Beach, FL
Nov 05, 2014 to Nov 06, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Jurisdictional Gridlock: A Pathway Out of Darkness

Craig A. Glazer

Bunker Hill. Gettysburg. Pearl Harbor. Iwo Jima. The Cold War. Each of these famous conflicts resonates in our history books. Despite the end of the Cold War, we may face another battle, this time between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the states over jurisdiction.

Hurdling Ever Higher: A New Obstacle Course for Mergers at the FERC?

John F. Mandt and Karl R. Moor

For the partners in a utility merger, the celebration must wait. After opening the most delicate of dialogues, and then negotiating the price and closing the deal, the merger partners must yet gain the approval of regulators. The application may lie sealed in its FedEx pouch, safely on its way to Washington.

Electricity Utility Mergers: The Answer or the Question?

Robert J. Michaels

Differences of opinion make for good horse races and bad jokes about economists, and those who are studying the recent wave of electric utility merger announcements have not let us down. Some of these economists optimistically believe that the mergers act as forces for competition, since they will combine corporate assets and staffs to bolster operating efficiency and market acumen at the merged companies. Other economists, who see transmission as the root of monopoly power, are more pessimistic.

FERC Upholds N.J. QF Procedures

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied a Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (JCPL) request that it invalidate the procedures used by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to implement the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) (Docket No. EL95-36-000).

JCPL claimed that state procedures required it to enter into a purchase agreement with a qualifying facility, Freehold Cogeneration Associates, L.P., for 100 megawatts of power at rates that exceeded JCPL's avoided cost at the time of contract execution and approval.

FERC Urges Flexibility on Natural Gas Decontracting

Lori A. Burkhart

A new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order in the restructuring proceeding for Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGP) suggests how the Commission will handle evolving issues in natural gas decontracting (Docket Nos. RP95-326-000).

NGP had asked to implement its compliance rates for new services in conjunction with a deferred-cost mechanism, allowing it to defer collection of revenue shortfall it allegedly would experience under those rates.

GISB Meeting Brings Promise, Compromise, Light Reprimand

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

The Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB) has extended its lifespan and broadened its scope to tighten business practices and improve electronic transactions.

At its first-ever annual meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, GISB also was gently chided and commended by James J. Hoecker of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): "I submit to you that GISB must not, in an attempt to please everyone, set standards at the lowest common denominator.

PoolCo and Market Dominance

Randall J. Falkenberg

Imagine if the airlines had followed a utility model when they deregulated back in 1978.You and five other planeloads show up at the airport to catch a flight to Chicago. Every few hours the airport operator holds an auction for the next hour's Chicago flights. Delta offers two new 767's at $200 per ticket. U.S. Air bids one 737 at $300. American has six

DC-9's and bids each one at $1,000 per head. When the auction ends, Delta and U.S. Air fill their planes.

NEPOOL Goes for Marketers, Brokers

Lori A. Burkhart

The New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) has filed an amendment to its agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), seeking to open the power pool's membership to power marketers and brokers involved in the wholesale power business. Prior to the amendment, only electric utilities with retail customers, their affiliates, and independent power producers were eligible for membership. According to Frank Sabatino, chairman of NEPOOL's executive committee, the action is a significant first step in redefining NEPOOL's role in the increasingly competitive bulk-power market.

FERC Eases Gas Reporting Burden

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued two final rules that seek to reduce the filing burden on the natural gas industry. One simplifies the Uniform System of Accounts and the FERC's reporting requirements (Docket No. RM95-4-000). The other simplifies the filing requirements for making rate and tariff changes under Part 154 of the regulations (Docket No. RM95-3-000).

The rules recognize that most interstate pipelines now serve as transporters rather than as merchants.

Open-access Filings Climbing

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted seven more open-access electric transmission tariffs, bringing the total to 34. Another six are pending. The new tariffs were submitted by Jersey Central Power & Light Co.,

Mid-American Energy Co., Illinois Power Co., Wisconsin Power & Light Co., Western Resources, Inc., IES Utilities, and Commonwealth Electric Co.

"We consider this a success story," said FERC chair Elizabeth A. Moler. "While we still have a long way to go, this is real progress.

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