Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission


Three weeks ago I traveled to Indianapolis to Speak at the Indiana Energy Conference, a meeting sponsored by the Citizens Action Coalition and a board group from the local gas and electric industries, including a fair number of state government employees. Focusing on issues largely specific to Indiana, that audience gave the meeting a novel perspective: What's a low-cost state to do?

Do you fix it if it ain't broke?

Indiana Launches LEC Competition

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (URC) has opened the state's local telephone market to competition by ordering local exchange carriers (LECs) to offer "bundled resale" of retail local exchange and related services.

The ruling applies to the state's two major LECs, Ameritech and GTE North, as well as to other smaller companies subject to the provisions of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act).

Indiana on Water Utility Mergers

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (URC) has adopted a new ratemaking policy for mergers involving water utilities: The URC will first look at the fair value of the acquired utility, as determined in its most recent rate case, to determine the reasonableness of the purchase price.


Ann R. Chamberlain will manage rates and regulations, and plan and procure gas supplies in her new v.p. position with Virginia Natural Gas, Inc. She steps up from assistant v.p.

Boston Pacific Co., Inc. has added John T. Chang to the company's international power project development practice. He comes from Iroquois Gas Transmission System. Jonathan d'E. Coony was promoted to consultant and will continue work on financial evaluation of power projects in Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries.

The Economics and Politics of Western Coal

Wyoming and Montana

are cracking Midwest coal markets,

despite local protectionism.

As pressures build steadily toward deregulation and increased competition between electric power generators, Western low-sulfur coal is emerging as the most economical fuel option for an increasing number of companies. The low cost of delivered fuel and avoidance of capital outlays offer attractive savings.

Will Residential Customers Pay for Competition?

High industrial electricity rates are often blamed upon current regulation. Some state regulators respond with broad-based reforms; others simply reallocate system costs from industrial rate classes to rates for more inelastic customers (em namely, residential users.

States Differ on Capacity-release Revenues

Bucking the current trend among state utility regulators, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (URC) has denied a request by Northern Indiana Public Service Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to retain a portion of the revenues it receives from pipeline capacity-release transactions. The LDC asked the URC to permit shareholders to retain 50 percent of the revenues gained from participation in the "secondary market" for interstate pipeline capacity instead of flowing them back to ratepayers through the quarterly gas-cost adjustment (GCA) mechanism.

MCI to Provide Local Telephone Service

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (URC) has authorized MCI Telecommunications Corp., an interexchange carrier, to provide certain local business telephone services in the Indianapolis area on a two-year trial basis. These services (em which MCI will resell under an agreement with Hancock Rural Telephone Corp., a local exchange carrier (LEC) (em were previously offered exclusively by either Hancock or Ameritech Indiana, another LEC serving the Indianapolis area. The trial program is the result of a settlement agreement between MCI and Hancock.


Entergy Corp. has hired John A. Brayman, former president of Ameritech Corp.'s telephone industry services subsidiary in Chicago. Brayman will continue company expansion into nonregulated, domestic energy, and utility-related business as executive v.p. of Entergy Enterprises, Inc. and president of an as-yet unnamed group.J. William Holden was named Southern Electric International's v.p. for operations and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

GE Supply, a General Electric division, promoted William C. Betke to g.m.