FERC's new chairman runs roughshod over a reeling industry.
Industry hopes its centralized assets aren't in the crosshairs.
When the topic of U.S. energy security comes up, OPEC typically springs to mind. Sure enough, following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, politicians and energy executives quickly rallied before the public for less reliance on oil supply from OPEC member nations, and for bolstering domestic energy production.
Why it's just as important for the old economy.
Mention "power quality" and the mind conjures up visions of tech hotels stuffed with Internet servers running 24/7, retrofitted into inner city industrial warehouses-buildings sturdy enough to forgive the heavy installation of custom power supply equipment and racks of batteries. Or perhaps Silicon Valley.
The Federal Trade Commission likely will regulate those business-to-business Web portals, but how much?
Electric utility executives may be a step behind the Internet revolution, but in one key respect they may have an advantage over anyone else building an e-commerce Web portal for business-to-business (B2B) procurement.
Utility executives don't fear government regulation. They're already caught in the net.
Gas Executives' Forum
They see leasing and dark fiber as "no-risk" ventures, with more upside potential.
Few seem ready to predict when demand might wane for rights-of-way for long-haul telecommunications. The consensus suggests a long-lived market - with interstate natural gas pipelines primed to take advantage. The question seems not so much whether to dive in, but how deeply to get involved.
Should pipelines stick to leasing rights-of-way to carriers? Or should they lay fiber and perhaps offer their own long-haul services?
Distributed Generation. In December and January the Illinois commission took comments from utilities, marketers, manufacturers, and trade and advocacy groups on how to develop policy on distributed generation.
* Rulemaking Strategy. Enron has urged the state to proceed in a fashion similar to the California PUC's
two-track investigation. It asked for two separate rulemakings on (1) interconnection standards for DG installations of 50 megawatts or less, and (2) rate design and operational issues.
* Unit Size Limits.