Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its electric "giga-NOPR" on transmission access, stranded investment, and Real-time Information Networks (RINs), the heat is on (em and rising. Congress is busy, too. It's working hard on telecommunications, nuclear waste, and privatization of the federal power marketing agencies, but the odds may be growing against repeal of PURPA (the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) or PUHCA (the Public Utility Holding Company Act. And now a fax has just come in telling me that the California Public Utilities Commission has formally proposed a modified "PoolCo" model in its Blue Book case. What does it all mean?
Out on the West Coast a couple of weeks back, I spied a t-shirt with this motto: "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
The Strawman Cometh
By the time you read this, the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) probably will be hard at work putting together its preliminary comments in the RINs docket. (For more on RINs, take another look at Steve Mitnick's article in our May 15 issue, "RINs: Better Learn this Acronym," p. 37.)