Calendar of Events

Jul 13, 2014 to Jul 16, 2014 | Dallas, TX
Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Aug 11, 2014 to Aug 12, 2014 | New York, NY

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Public Utilities Reports

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FERC

Evolving FERC Merger Policy Delays "Altus" Deal

Lori A. Burkhart

It appears that The Washington Water Power Co. (WWP) and Sierra Pacific Power Co. (SPP), which were hoping for a quick OK on their proposed merger to form "Altus," may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of a perfunctory approval, the WWP/SPP merger now may become the test case for evolving merger policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Perhaps the utilities should have seen it coming. In approving the Midwest Power Systems, Inc./Iowa-Illinois Gas & Electric Co. merger, FERC Commissioners William L.

Perspective

George C. Loehr

There are essentially two kinds of reliability: sufficient generating capacity, and sufficient transmission capacity. Although it often receives the most attention, generation accounts for only about 10 percent of reliability concerns. Even when there is a problem, there is usually time to prepare; demand can be reduced through voltage reductions, interruptible customers, public appeals, and as a last resort, rotating blackouts.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

As I began to write this column, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was slated in less than 30 minutes (this time, for real) to unveil its final proposed plan to restructure the electric utility industry. After the deed was done, on Wednesday, December 20, I logged on to ftp.cpuc.ca.gov and downloaded the text of the two opinions, issued by California commissioners Daniel Fessler and Jessie Knight.

Looking for a Market Rate

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Looking for a Market Rate:

Anchor Glass Tries to Shake JCP&L Stranglehold

By Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Why assume that a city or town

can't run a power plant?

It wasn't a demand for a $2-million rate cut. It was a request for a rate in line with neighboring New Jersey utilities.

That's how Walter J.

Wired or Mired? Electronic Information for the Gas Industry

Sheila S. Hollis, and Andrew S. Katz

Management expert Peter F. Drucker has observed that our society has entered a "post-capitalist" stage in which economic activity is organized around information: "The basic economic resource ... is no longer 'capital' nor 'natural resources'...

Merger Menace: Holding Companies and Overcapitalization

Jon Erik Kingstad

Merger Menace: Holding Companies and Overcapitalization

States remain as powerless to control holding companies as they were

in 1935, when PUHCA was passed.

During the 1970s and 1980s, diversification swept the gas and electric utility industries. One byproduct of this craze was the formation of a large number of new public utility holding companies, exempt not only from regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but from state regulation over security issues.

Trans Alaska Rate Settlement Resolved

Lori A. Burkhart

On November 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a major rate settlement on pipeline corrosion issues for the owners of the Trans Alaska Pipeline Systems (TAPS), based on a November 1994 agreement in principle among the parties. The settlement results from an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) technique that employed a mini-trial and involved high-level representatives for all parties.

FERC Approves Open-access Tariffs

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted proposed open-access, point-to-point, and network transmission service tariffs filed by Tampa Electric Co. (TE), effective November 14 (Docket No. ER95-1775-000) and subject to the outcome of its open-access Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (mega-NOPR) proceeding. TE says the tariffs substantially conform to the pro forma tariffs proposed under the mega-NOPR, and were calculated using the methods outlined there.

FERC Approves Market-Based Gas Storage Rates

Lori A. Burkhart

Finding that Enron Storage Co. lacks market power, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved its request for market-based storage rates for firm and interruptible natural gas service under section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, subject to conditions (Docket No. PR94-2-000). Enron proposed that rates for individual storage services be determined by the marketplace and agreed to by itself and the customer through arm's-length negotiations.

Laissez Ies Bons Temps Rouler: NARUC's 107th Convention

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Change was the operative word this year in New Orleans at the annual gathering the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Bob Anderson, Montana commissioner and outgoing president of NARUC, cited global competitiveness, technology and a political swing toward state's rights in his opening address. "State commissions have to respond to these powerful forces," he warned.

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