Economists often seem enamored of economic efficiency, honoring its merits while decrying the lost benefits of inefficient outcomes. But really ... what's the harm in a little inefficiency? Well, the harm may be more real than we recognize.
Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 1996
That was the question on the minds of representatives from local telephone exchange carriers (LECs) who huddled at the United States Telephone Association (USTA) National Issues Conference days before legislators passed sweeping telecommunications legislation that would affect everyone's future.
But the question went beyond what would become law when President Clinton fulfilled his promise to sign the bill.
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) instituted the subscriber line charge (SLC), telephone household penetration rates actually increased, even though local rates rose when the SLC was rolled in.
"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
Ten terms as a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma's Sixth District taught Glenn English how to build consensus.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a certificate allowing Steuben Gas Storage Co. (SGS) to construct and operate an underground natural gas storage field, the Thomas Corners Field.
In a preliminary finding that SGS lacked market power, the FERC authorized the company to charge market-based rates, subject to reexamination (Docket Nos. CP95-119-000 et al.).
You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
But some economists take a different view. They see the real convergence occurring between electricity and telecommunications. I'm not talking about the "smart house" or fiber-to-the-whatever. Instead, how is the product is created?
An LDC Caucus report, An Issue Paper Regarding Future Unsubscribed Pipeline Capacity, forecasts an increase in reduced subscriptions of firm capacity due to a combination of factors:
s Shifting patterns of gas purchasing will reduce the need for transportation over certain pipeline corridors.
s Single-fixed-variable rate design makes capacity reservation costly for LDCs with low load factors.
Peter C. Nelson was named president and CEO of California Water Service Co. Nelson also will be a director. He comes from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., where he was v.p.-division operations. He replaces the retiring Donald L. Houck.
Jack Lucido of ANR Pipeline Co. was elected to the American Gas Association's pipeline research committee, succeeding Gary Walker of Pacific Transmission Co.
The Electric Power Research Institute hired Karl G. Van Orsdol as senior manager, international relations.
High industrial electricity rates are often blamed upon current regulation. Some state regulators respond with broad-based reforms; others simply reallocate system costs from industrial rate classes to rates for more inelastic customers (em namely, residential users.