The leaders of the electric power industry greatly want to put a positive spin on the current state of affairs in their business.
Mark Hand is senior editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
The leaders of the electric power industry greatly want to put a positive spin on the current state of affairs in their business. But six months later, they're still having a tough time controlling all of the issues swirling around Enron's bankruptcy, let alone the lingering effects of California's failed restructuring experience. In many cases, credit and shareholder concerns are preventing senior executives from spending adequate time on developing new growth opportunities for their companies and lobbying for electric industry competition.
Memories of the biggest corporate meltdown in U.S. business history and the grand failure of the nation's first statewide electric restructuring program aren't going to fade away overnight. And senior energy executives appear to understand this. Most are viewing 2002 as the year of the corporate holding pattern, when aftershocks from Enron will be felt and the pursuit of aggressive growth strategies will be put on hold.
"Whenever you have more than 10 congressional committees looking at an issue in an election year, you cannot predict that the outcome is going to be positive. Our concern, of course, is that we avoid heavy-handed solutions and a rush to judgment that can harm competitive markets and burden perfectly good and perfectly functioning power producers," laments Erroll Davis, the head of Alliant Energy and the incoming chairman of the Edison Electric Institute for 2002-03.