UHCA REPEAL NOW. In her article, "Why PUHCA Repeal Is Still on Hold," published Feb. 15, 1998, Beverly Jones suggests the reason legislation to repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 hasn't passed Congress is because there hasn't yet been an "open dialogue" among all interests to deal with a wide range of electricity restructuring issues, including PUHCA.
Open dialogue is always important, and a review of the past two years shows that not only has such a dialogue taken place, but the case for immediate repeal of PUHCA, on a standalone basis, is stronger than ever.
Senate and House committees have held numerous hearings and workshops, but no consensus has been reached on a wide range of restructuring issues (em such as definition and treatment of stranded costs, public power subsidies, federally imposed mandates on states and provider of last resort obligation. There seems to be little prospect of a consensus soon.
Utilities themselves disagree on how many of these issues should be addressed.
Yet the gas and electric utility companies (em and other potential competitors (em know PUHCA is the number-one barrier blocking their ability to compete as more states restructure their electricity and natural gas markets without a federal mandate.
Interestingly, Jones acknowledges this by pointing out that "where states have acted on retail unbundling, PUHCA repeal is necessary to facilitate the entry of enough new players to make retail competition viable."