Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1995

FERC Sets Guides for SO2 Emission Allowance Cost Recovery

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a policy statement and interim rule establishing guidelines for recovering the cost of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission allowances in wholesale rates. The FERC also ruled that utilities do not need its approval to sell or transfer emission allowances, because allowances are related to electric generation, which lies beyond FERC jurisdiction (Docket No. PL95-1-000).

Ohio Pushes Local Service Competition

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has reaffirmed its desire to open local exchange telephone markets to competition, urging "all deliberate speed." The PUC voiced its telephone competition policy in approving a new, six-year, price-cap regulation plan for Ameritech Ohio, a local exchange carrier (LEC). The plan, which reduces the LEC's revenue by $92.3 million, cuts intrastate toll charges by $7.9 million, residential rates by $55 million, and access charges for long-distance carriers by $8 million.

Onsite Storage: The Impact of State Regulation on Nuclear Policy

(SIDE SUBHEAD)

Nuclear plant licensees could face an added level of state regulation just as they move to cut costs.Permanent disposal capacity for low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and spent nuclear fuel, long a top priority for the nuclear industry, has not yet become a reality. But the storage question draws more attention for its impact on nuclear power costs as electric generation grows more competitive.

FERC Claims Power to Order Dam

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a policy statement on hydroelectric plant decommissioning, claiming authority to deny new project licenses when existing licenses expire and to order owners to remove a dam during the relicensing process. These measures would only be applied if the FERC concludes that a project, no matter how many conditions were imposed, could no longer meet the comprehensive development standard of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (Docket No. RM93-23-000).

The statement was one of three hydroelectric orders considered as a group.

West Virginia Examines LEC Competition

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is investigating whether to adopt rules it could apply "in the event of competition" in the telecommunications local exchange market. It said it would not promulgate its own proposed rules at this time, and invited submission of suggested rules by February 21, 1995. Re Competition for Local Exchange Services, Case No. 94-1102-T-GI, Nov.

Pool Adds Transmission Distance Rate

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has amended the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP) agreement, adding a distance-based transmission service charge for short-term transmission services provided by MAPP members (Docket No. ER94-1529-000). Previously, MAPP members provided reciprocal short-term transmission services to each other, charging only for transmission losses.

MAPP wants to apply a distance-based transmission charge for wholesale coordination transactions of four years or less between pool members.

Ohio Proposes Emission Allowance Regs

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has proposed regulations to allow electric utilities to use fuel-cost clauses to recover gains or losses from trading Clean Air Act emission allowances. The PUC emphasized that utilities should use the allowance market to maximize trading while making the use of coal produced in the state part of a least-cost power-supply strategy. Re Amendment of Chapter 4901:1-11 of the Ohio Administrative Code, Case No. 94-1792-EL-ORD, Nov. 23, 1994 (Ohio P.U.C.).

In a separate case, the PUC ruled that Dayton Power & Light Co.

EPA Approves Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a plan by 12 northeastern states and the District of Columbia (the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC)) to improve air quality under the Clean Air Act. The plan allows the OTC to establish an alternative-fuel vehicle program fashioned after California's, beginning in model year 1999, or to choose other measures that would provide equivalent pollution reductions. The OTC plan envisions the sale of certain advanced technology vehicles that reduce pollution by more than 70 percent.