Frontlines & Op-Ed
FERC: Lender of Last Resort?
The commission may find it's powerless on capital finance and credit issues.
Some say that without Alan Greenspan attending the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) Jan. 16 and Feb. 5 technical conferences on capital availability for energy infrastructure and energy market credit issues, the commission will have few options other than market enforcement and the design of fair and competitive markets
Fortnightly: A New Frontier
Presenting a new look and new editorial content for 2003.
In this Jan. 1, 2003, issue, Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine takes pause in this column from its energy industry commentary to tell readers about several important developments at the magazine.
Executive and academic views on what to fix and what's not broke.
The sound and fury over trading scandals, credit defaults, and market manipulation so far has drowned out much of the mind-numbing debate over a standard market design (SMD), and rightly so. Utilities understand (as does the press) that Enron, "Deathstar," and "Get Shorty" will always sell more newspapers than locational pricing or congestion management.
Why rate base is back in style.
It's no surprise that traditional utilities are now fashionable with Wall Street. With merchant generation and energy trading gone bust, bankers, analysts, and fund managers at the 37th Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference, held last month in Palm Springs, Calif., were falling over themselves to find those regulated gems overlooked during the energy merchant boom years.
Reviewing FERC's omnipotence over markets.
Reviewing FERC's omnipotence over markets: Market players like Calpine say standard market design (SMD) and RTO issues "while laudable and important objectives … will do little to enhance wholesale competition if contract sanctity is not assured."
This year, or next, legislators will close in on a national energy bill.
This year, or next, legislators will close in on a national energy bill. Some agreement already looks promising for several industry flashpoints.
Are banks better at trading power than utilities?
Bank of America's recent request to FERC to be allowed to trade power was yet one more reminder that a whole new class of companies are quietly positioning themselves to dominate what's left of the energy trading space after the departure of traders like Enron and Aquila.
Reviewing the FERC chairman's first year, and what he might do next.
This September, Pat Wood III completed his first year as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Some long-time FERC watchers gave Fortnightly some insights into how this chairman has performed so far, and what we might expect from him in the future.