El Paso Corp. announced that Britton White Jr. has retired as executive vice president and general counsel. He was appointed to this position after El Paso acquired Tenneco Energy in 1996. Peggy A. Heeg has been named as his replacement. Heeg previously served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel. She joined Tenneco Energy in 1990 and became vice president and associate general counsel for regulated pipelines for El Paso after the merger. El Paso also announced the retirement of David A. Arledge from its board of directors.
New England puts a price on electric reliability, but some say the charge looks more like a tax.
Does ICAP qualify as a true commercial product, traded on its own merit with a tangible value for customers?
Battle of Dunkirk
Utilities rush to save their last tenuous hold over the power plants they so smugly sold off.
Retail Energy Choice. At press time, Virginia issued proposed interim rules governing pilot programs for electric retail competition in electricity and natural gas, with comments due Feb. 24. The interim rules were not expected to resolve all issues, but only to provide a starting point to gain experience.
Among other points, the interim rules would require utilities to make information available through electronic bulletin boards on availability of commodity supply, ancillary services, and transmission and distribution capacity. Case No.
Mergers & Acquisitions
NSP + New Century. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission OK'd the merger of Northern States Power Co. (NSP) and New Century Energies Inc. (NCE), to form Xcel Energy Inc., on condition that the new company would join the Midwest Independent System Operator. FERC Docket No. EC99-101- 000, Jan. 12, 2000, 90 FERC ¶61,020.
* Rate Pancaking. The FERC found no problem with transmission rate pancaking with the MISO condition, even though NCE subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS) belongs to the rival Southwest Power Pool.
Mergers & Acquisitions
CP&L + Florida Progress. Carolina Power & Light announced Aug. 23 that it would purchase Florida Progress Corp. for $5.3 billion in a combination that would create the nation's ninth-largest utility in terms of generating capacity, with $6.7 billion in annual revenues and 2.5 million customers in three states. CP&L would pay a premium (between 16.5 percent and 21 percent) over the pre-announcement share price of FP stock.
TELEPHONE BILLING PRACTICES. Citing the filed-rate doctrine, which bars deviation from published tariffs, a federal appeals court affirmed the dismissal of two class action suits against AT&T Corp. that sought damages for alleged fraud. The suite arose from AT&T's failure to disclose to its residential long-distance telecommunications customers its practice of rounding charges up to the higher full minute.