With electric bills in Congress, and Moler bound for DOE, the Commission needs new vision.
Speaking in May at an informal press luncheon at the Washington International Energy Group in Washington, D.C., FERC Commissioner William L. Massey described the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's role in an open-access electric industry as "nourishing" competition.
And with electric Order 888 under review at the federal appeals court in New York City, Massey saw little chance for reversal, claiming a "high degree of confidence [that] we'll do well."
About a week later, the FERC had quickly ok'd the merger of Duke Power and PanEnergy, squelching some fears that so-called "convergence" (gas-electric) mergers would find rough sledding at the Commission under the December 1996 electric merger policy statement Order 592, which focuses to a large degree on abuse of market power.
So what now? Does the FERC have anything left to do?
Perhaps with just that question in mind, the Commission convened a two-day technical conference on Thursday and Friday, May 29-30, looking to see whether it could rekindle some excitement in natural gas regulation (em the source of many past successes.