Fortnightly Magazine - November 2005

New England: A Critical Look at Competition

Seven years after restructuring, challenges remain. Should the region stay the course?

Electric restructuring—identified in some quarters with Enron, California, and the August 2003 blackout—has brought significant, measurable benefits to us in New England. Seven years after restructuring began, it's a good time to assess the challenges that remain and gauge whether to stay the course toward continued restructuring.

Commission Watch

FERC mulls rival plans at the last minute, while on the West Coast, California gets into the game.

FERC, the ISO, and many other parties had seen no reason for further debate over the need for a location-specific capacity market. By limiting debate, FERC had foreclosed a raft of competing ideas. When the moment finally arrived for the oral argument at FERC, attorneys and witnesses attempted valiantly in the precious few minutes allotted each speaker to flesh out new ideas, and the commissioners struggled as well to keep up. This highly unusual situation made for a helter-skelter hearing, with new topics seeming to come out of the woodwork.

Business & Money

Presenting a new management model.

Utility companies are at a crossroads when it comes to managing their pension plans. They must determine the best ways to continue to offer this benefit while controlling the impact these plans have on the overall financial health of the organization.

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