AS UTILITIES FACE A MARKET WITH A PREMIUM brand identification, new board members increasingly have stronger backgrounds in marketing and financial services, according to a recent survey of 50 leading utilities by consulting firm Spencer Stuart.
Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1998
PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY SPOKE WITH FEDERAL Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman James Hoecker shortly after the Clinton Administration released its long-awaited Comprehensive Electricity Competition Plan.
Although Hoecker sees new legislation as only "the remotest of possibilities" for this session of Congress, he expects that the "real debate" will begin next year, with environmental issues perhaps proving to be the most difficult to solve.
Are mergers bad for competition? "Not necessarily," he says.
But what of commissioners' aides and advisers? The people behind the scenes, who, in some cases, propose decisions for regulators to act on. What wisdom can commission aides share with the industry?
Further, are these posts proving grounds? Can we expect to see aides filling commission seats someday? Elizabeth A. Moler, deputy energy secretary, started as a Senate Energy Committee aide. James J. Hoecker, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman, was once a FERC adviser.
Public Utilities Fortnightly spoke with five aides, whose average age is 37.
AS NEW ENERGY VENTURES, LLC EXPLAINS IN ITS PROMOtional literature, it took a long time in California for electricity competition to move from the category of "wacky idea" to widespread acceptance.
But that was before the California electric market opened in April, and before NEV had formed its New Energy Buyers' Alliance, a consortium of clients for whom NEV buys wholesale energy. The alliance includes associations like the California Retailers Association, Western Growers Association and the Independent Colleges of Southern California.
FOLLOWING MONTHS OF SPECULATION BY INDUSTRY players, Corbin A. McNeill Jr., chairman and CEO of PECO Energy Co., has formally announced that the company will focus on nuclear generation.
The mid-April revelation didn't take many speculators by surprise.
PECO has decided to focus on generation, nuclear generation in particular. While many other companies have chosen to abandon this risky part of the business, PECO is entering it with both feet. The company believes that nuclear is where its strength and expertise lie.
IN APRIL 1997, AFTER FOUR YEARS AS A COMMISSIONER WITH the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Donald F. Santa, Jr. announced that he would leave the public sector at the expiration of his term and join LG&E Energy Corp. as vice president and deputy general counsel. Included among his first assignments at LG&E was management of legal matters for LG&E Marketing, the national energy marketing subsidiary of LG&E Corp.
TODAY THE ELECTRIC UTILITY INDUSTRY HURTLES TOWARD massive restructuring. This fervor is not surprising as it appears society has become convinced that market forces can work better than a centrally planned, regulated environment. This conviction draws strength from deregulation in other industries, such as the airlines, natural gas production and telecommunications.
AN EDITOR'S JOB IS A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS. Reveal the truth, unmask what's fake. Simplify, but entertain. Attract attention, but don't get noticed.
Sometimes, however, you've got to stick your neck out. So that's what I did a few weeks ago when I wrote how Commissioner Curt Hébert had become a "loose cannon" at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by sometimes refusing to go along with the full agenda. I posed a question: Was Hébert the Commission's nemesis?
Well, this time I did get noticed (em by none other than the commissioner himself.
FERC Commissioner Vicky A. Bailey named Robert H. Solomon as her new attorney advisor for electric matters. Solomon has been with the Office of General Counsel since joining FERC in 1988. He has held key positions such as Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Electric Rates and Corporate Regulation.
AmeriGas Propane Inc. announced the election of Richard C. Gozon as director. Gozon will replace Robert C. Forney who recently retired. Gozon is executive vice president of Weyerhaeuser Co.
ENERGY SUPPORT SERVICES. An Illinois appeals court affirmed a 1997 decision by the state commission that had denied authority to Commonwealth Edison to offer "energy support services," such as design, engineering, construction, analysis and management of electrical power equipment and energy systems. The court made this decision despite the utility's argument that no evidence existed to support the commission's finding that ComEd enjoyed a monopolist's advantage over competitors.