The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to remove long-standing prohibitions on the resale of special access and private line telecommunications services provided by local exchange carriers (LECs) in the state. It said customers were more concerned about price and quality of service than whether facilities used to provide service were leased or owned by their provider. It added that recent restructuring of private-line service tariffs now ensured that LECs recover the cost of providing such services.
How risky are utility investments today? Regulators have always faced this question when setting the return component of rates under traditional rate base/rate of return regulation. With major industry restructuring looming, risk issues have become proportionately more important and complex. California regulators, for example, have increased the return for the state's electric utilities to account for investor worries over the pace of restructuring in the "Blue Book" proceeding.
On December 12, 1994, Craven Crowell, chairman of the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), issued two well-publicized announcements. First, TVA would not finish three of the nuclear units it has had under construction since the 1970s, unless it could find partners willing to share their construction costs (a prospect he subsequently characterized as "very slim,").1 Second, TVA planned to set an internal cap on its total debt at a level $2 to $3 billion below the $30-billion limit imposed by the Congress.
Commissioner Donald F. Santa, Jr., offered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) view of the "New Power Industry" at the 3rd annual electricity conference sponsored by the Western Energy and Communications Association and the Los Angeles Power Producers Association in Irvine, CA. Santa acknowledged current trends toward disaggregation, but said he doubted that a single, uniform, nationwide industry structure would emerge.
Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee have released an outline of draft telecommunications legislation that would remove all state or local barriers to entry for telecommunications service. The legislation would allow any regional Bell operating company (RBOC) to apply to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer interexchange services (em subject to generic safeguards, such as a separate subsidiary requirement. If the FCC certifies that interconnection/opening requirements have been satisfied, the RBOC request must be granted.
The pending merger of El Paso Electric Co. (EPE) and Central and South West Services, Inc. (CSW) keeps going and going and going. But the issue of "comparability" has yet to be left in the dust. And so another landmark case looms large, giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) another opportunity to shape future wheeling and merger transactions.
(A.G.A.) forecasts a 3.4-percent increase in natural gas use for 1995, to 22.5 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) from 21.7 quads in 1994. "Such an increase would continue an eight-year trend that has seen natural gas consumption rise nearly 30 percent since 1986," Michael Baly, A.G.A. president, noted in a presentation to New York securities analysts.
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted properly in licensing the use of ventilated, dry storage casks for spent nuclear fuel at Consumer Power Co.'s Palisades nuclear plant. Despite challenges from public interest groups and the attorney general of Michigan, the court found adequate input from the public in the NRC licensing process, which is used for all reactor sites nationwide. Michael G.
After years of review, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a Wisconsin Electric Power Co. plan to provide additional dry storage capacity for spent fuel at the Point Beach nuclear plant. Without it, the plant would be forced to close by 1998, the company said. Point Beach, located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Manitowoc County, consists of two 500-megawatt reactors that produce a sixth of the state's electricity. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission spent four years reviewing the plan before approving the modular system of steel and reinforced concrete.
Thirteen of the nation's largest public utilities signed agreements with the Department of Energy (DOE), committing themselves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a combined total of 2.5 million metric tons by 2000. Last year, over 800 utilities pledged to cooperate with the Clinton Administration's goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2000 in all industrial sectors.