Despite all the talk, despite keen interest in certain industry sectors, and despite federal legislation, increased competition in the electric power industry is far from certain. Unlike other deregulated industries, electric power is primarily regulated by state public utility commissions (PUCs) (em not by a federal regulatory agency. The debate over the values and benefits of competition as opposed to regulation will have to take place over and over again.
Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1995
Here we go again. Last year, the 103rd Congress failed to pass the much-promised and highly touted telecommunications reform legislation aimed at bringing the antiquated Communications Act of 1934 into the 21st century. Now it's up to the 104th Congress, and both parties have draft legislation ready to go.
In February, Sen.
Louisville Gas and Electric Co. (LG&E) has filed a settlement offer on comparability of electric transmission, the result of negotiations with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff since November. The first of its kind filed at the FERC, the settlement forms part of LG&E's comparable transmission service case, which involves the utility's network and point-to-point tariffs.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has asked for comments on alternatives to traditional cost-of-service pricing for interstate natural gas pipeline transportation rates (Docket No. RM95-6-000). In response to many requests from pipeline companies to approve rates based on other pricing methods, some cost-based and some not, the FERC wants to develop a framework for analyzing alternative proposals.
During the last decade, the natural gas industry in the United States has been transformed from a heavily regulated business to one facing competitive markets. This transformation grew out of the failure of regulation; regulators, suppliers, pipelines, and customers all played a part. It continues today as the industry restructures and builds new institutions.A series of regulatory crises forced deregulation in stages: First, wellhead prices; second, gas contracts; and finally, pipeline transportation.
Six major independent power marketers, calling themselves the Coalition for a Competitive Electric Market, have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin broad-based, competitive reforms of the nation's electric service industry by winter 1996-97. Ultimately, they want the FERC to force all electric utilities that own transmission wires to allow marketers and other transmission-dependent power sellers and buyers to use their lines on a comparable basis.
California's 1993 qualifying facility (QF) auction dramatically illustrates problems that can be encountered in structuring auctions for electric utility solicitations of supply-side resources from qualifying cogeneration and small power production facilities.
In the 1993 California QF auction, three California utilities were to select QFs that would be awarded long-term purchased-power contr
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has refused to reconsider its December 14, 1994, policy statement on hydroelectric plant decommissioning. That policy upholds the FERC's authority to deny new project licenses when existing licenses expire and to order owners to remove a dam during the relicensing process (Docket Nos. RM93-23-000, RM93-23-001). Commissioner James J.
Electric restructuring weighs heavy on the mind these days. Drastic remedies are born more of hope than vision. Look at the April 20, 1994, proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for mandated retail wheeling (the Electric Restructuring Order, often referred to as the "Blue Book").1
The Blue Book became a catalyst for national debate. But the Blue Book did not create the problem; it only reacted.
There is a price to pay for becoming a lean, mean fighting machine, and utilities paid the price in 1994.
A number of electric utilities saw revenues increase last year on the strength of higher sales, but the costs associated with laying off hundreds of employees and downsizing company operations took a significant bite out of earnings.
A PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY survey of the nation's top 20 electric utilities shows an increase in their combined 1994 revenues to $107 billion, a healthy 3.6-percent rise over the previous year.