NARUC President James Kerr seeks harmony among an unruly bunch of state regulators.
As NARUC president, James Yancey Kerr II brings a federalist philosophy that emphasizes state and local sovereignty—and consensus among state regulators.
Policymakers are setting sights on new challenges facing utilities.
Utilities in the United States are heading into uncharted territories, and the regulatory landscape is changing accordingly. To learn what it takes to tame this new territory, we spoke with three FERC commissioners, a state regulator, and a Western governor.
Failing to address and adapt to the new ratemaking realities could result in increased costs for the economy.
Mark A. Jamison and Paul Sotkiewicz
The approaching 100th anniversary of regulation by public utility commissions in the United States calls for some reflection. How much have things changed, and how much have they stayed the same?
Two sides of the same coin.
When I became the Consumers’ Counsel for the state of Ohio in April 2004, natural-gas prices were hovering between $7/Mcf and $8/Mcf (thousand cubic feet). In the next year and a half, Ohioans saw gas prices double, peaking at a residential statewide average of $16.89/Mcf in the month of September 2005. The latter reflects the exacerbation of prices, already high, by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the gulf region. The purpose of this article is not to focus on the national security and energy independence issues that arise from these circumstances, but rather to examine what we can do in the United States to ensure affordable and reliable supplies for residential consumers in both the short and long term.
Sweeping revisions to Order 888 are needed before true wholesale competition can take place.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
There’s been a lot of talk in the industry about new super powers for market enforcement, conferred by Congress on FERC in last year’s energy legislation. But this hasn’t been the case entirely. Many believe that FERC still labors at a disadvantage.
Will the industry be able to meet capital investment and growth expectations?
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave states a new federally enforceable right to access holding company books and records, but concern remains that some of these initiatives may run counter to the goal of capital attraction.
After closer study of the technology’s ongoing implementation and obstacles, the crystal ball remains cloudy.
By Christian Hamaker
What will it take for broadband over power line (BPL) technology to take hold? Is BPL on track to become, as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) once contemplated, the “third broadband pipe into residential consumers’ homes, providing significant competition for cable and DSL service,” and an integral part of the 21st century “smart grid”?
State regulators grapple with investments, supply planning, and structural issues.
The opposing challenges of higher gas prices and rising environmental concerns have put utility regulators in a difficult position: How can they bring rate stability while minimizing environmental impacts? At the same time, they are grappling with trends in consolidation, competition, transmission planning, and distribution service quality. Each state brings a different view of the changing utility landscape. For insight, Fortnightly brought together regulators from several states to discuss their plans and priorities for today and the future.
Congress revamps LNG and storage, giving broad new powers to FERC. Why the Feds still must consult with local authorities.
A major objective of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) is to counter the worsened conditions in the natural-gas market that began in 2000 and are expected to continue over the next several years—namely, tight natural-gas supplies and high, volatile gas prices caused by a distinct shift in the supply-demand balance. Any noticeable reductions in gas prices that might be effectuated by the act will have little impact on natural-gas prices for a number of years.
The Geopolitical Risks of LNG
Michael T. Burr
The Geopolitical Risks of LNG
To many energy-industry analysts, 2005 is a make-or-break year for the U.S. gas market. If we don't have at least several liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in construction by the end of the year, the country arguably will face serious gas-supply shortages and price spikes beginning in about 2008.1