Calendar of Events

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Top 14 R&D Players Named in Report

Lori A. Burkhart

TECC Group, Inc. has identified 14 U.S. investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) as major players in research and development (R&D), with expenditures in excess of $10 million. TECC's report, U.S. Electric IOU Research, Development & Demonstration Expense Comparisons 1994, places Southern California Edison at the top of the list ($64 million) and PECO Energy Co. 14th ($11 million). In between, in descending order, we find: Consolidated Edison Co.

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.

Decoupling Charge to Expire

Phillip S. Cross

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has turned back a pre-merger attempt by Puget Sound Power and Light Co. to make permanent a $165.5-million rate increase allowed under its periodic rate adjustment mechanism (PRAM). (The PRAM is designed to remove disincentives to utility conservation efforts by "decoupling" revenues from sales levels and relying instead on a revenue-per-customer approach to cost recovery.) Puget had earlier agreed to defer a scheduled base-rate filing pending the UTC's review of its proposed merger with Washington Energy Co.

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.

Tribe's Choice Causes Lawsuit

Lori A. Burkhart

Madison Gas and Electric Co. (MGE) has filed a lawsuit in court and a complaint at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) against Wisconsin Power & Light Co. (WP&L), because WP&L will provide electricity to the Ho-Chunk Tribe's new bingo hall, located in MGE territory.

The 43-acre site does not currently receive service from either utility, but both have distribution infrastructure nearby.

Failed Muni Fight Shut Anchor's Door

Joseh F. Schuler, Jr.

Anchor Glass Container closed its Aberdeen, NJ, manufacturing plant on January 15, after a failed effort to municipalize the township's electric system. Anchor also closed its Houston, TX, plant the same day. Walter J. Schaffer, the company's energy director, says energy costs were one of the reasons for the Aberdeen closing, which left most of the 326 workers unemployed. He also admits that the fight with Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) (see, "Anchor Glass vs. JCP&L," PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY, 2/1/96) did little to strengthen Anchor's economic position.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Mark your calendars for April 29, 1996. That's the date of the "filing of the century," according to Donald Garber, group manager for strategic plans and projects at San Diego Gas & Electric Co.

Garber is talking about plans to file a draft operating agreement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed California Power Exchange. The April filing will mark an important step in executing the December 20 order by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

LILCO: The Ultimate Failure of Regulation

Charles M. Studness

Nowhere are the failings of traditional utility regulation more evident than on Long Island. The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has raised rates for the Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO) 31 percent since 1989. Rates are now over twice the national average (em the highest in the continental United States. Meanwhile, Long Island's economy has been ravaged by defense cutbacks that have erased 100,000 jobs (em a 10-percent drop in employment.

Arkansas Approves IntraLATA Competition

Phillip S. Cross

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a move to full competition in the telecommunication intraLATA toll market. The PSC has concluded that its earlier concerns regarding uneconomic duplication of facilities and erosion of revenues for the state's local exchange carriers (LECs) no longer justified keeping the market closed. According to the PSC, competition among interexchange carriers (IXCs) for interLATA traffic had benefited consumers by producing over 100 certificated carriers competing in price and packaging of services.

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