Policymakers are setting sights on new challenges facing utilities.
Michael T. Burr is Public Utilities Fortnightly editor-at-large. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Utilities in the United States are heading into a new frontier.
A combination of rising fuel prices, aging infrastructure, and environmental concerns is opening up uncharted territory for gas and electric utilities. Companies are struggling to control costs and avert capacity shortfalls while planning for future greenhouse-gas constraints.
The regulatory landscape is changing accordingly, with utility commissioners and policymakers trying to spur infrastructure investments and protect ratepayer interests in a time of rising costs and uncertainties.
Such challenges require utility regulators to demonstrate both an open mind and steely eyed resolve, as well as a keen understanding of the difficult energy and environmental issues facing America. To learn what it takes to tame the new utility frontier, Public Utilities Fortnightly spoke with several lawmakers, including the three new appointees on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We talked with:
• Marc Spitzer, FERC