Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight commissioners about the demands of restructuring and about an issue particular to their state.
Comments by P. Gregory Conlon, president, California Public Utilities Commission:
Question: NARUC is restructuring. What must it maintain, what must it change, and what qualities must its director have to keep it ahead of industry issues?
Response: "I think their main goal is to make sure that we're focused in Washington, particularly on the Hill and at the two regulatory agencies that we're going through fundamental restructurings with the FCC on the Telecommunications Act and the FERC on electric restructuring. I think NARUC needs to take a leadership position in both of those efforts, and I think they have."
Question: How active is your state legislature in electric deregulation? When is this participation helpful? When is it intrusive?
Response: "We just went through legislation that passed both houses unanimously. And that was the most comprehensive piece of legislation that has gone through the California legislature, I think, in the last 20 or 30 years. . . . [There were] somewhere between 200 and 300 hours of hearings. During that process, I personally and some of my fellow commissioners were there to explain to them our policy decision. . . . And when the legislation was over with, they made some changes, but the basic principles weren't touched.