Today's PUF

Here in San Antonio, Question of the Day

Down here, in San Antonio, at NARUC’s Annual Meeting, we’ll be asking the PUF Question of the Day, each day of the conference. How will you answer when asked?

Today’s PUF Questio n of the Day is, What do you want to hear about at this Annual Meeting?

Tomorrow’s Question of the Day will be, Have you used ideas discussed at prior NARUC meetings back home? Any examples?

And Wednesday’s Question of the Day will be, What was the most important thing said during this Annual Meeting?

Happy Sam Insull's Birthday!

Excerpted from “Sam Insull, Bill Nye, and the Urge to Innovate,” in the November 2019 special issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly on innovation:

“Today, the eleventh of November, is Samuel Insull’s Birthday. We’re in Insull’s debt for his many breakthroughs for the utilities industry, in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. Not the least of which is, literally, the innovation of utility regulation.

From Insull’s memoirs:

Op-Ed by Georgia PSC Vice Chair Tim Echols

A battle is currently brewing between members of Congress to either terminate or expand the current seventy-five hundred dollar electric vehicle tax credit. They should learn from Georgia which in 2015 repealed the state’s robust electric car tax credit, and penalized electric car buyers with a fee. The move led to a nearly ninety percent drop in new electric car registrations and cost Georgia income, jobs and cleaner air. Here’s why Congress should not repeat Georgia’s mistake.

We Forecast Coal Under Billion

Public Utilities Fortnightly now forecasts that the U.S. grid’s coal plants will generate under a billion megawatt-hours this year. That would be big news in itself. But our forecast is that coal plant generation will fall further, below nine-tenths of a billion megawatt-hours.

Not since the late nineteen-seventies have coal plants produced so little power in the U.S. in a year. Which is extra remarkable because the U.S. grid’s overall production of power — from all generation sources — is now about twice what it was in the late nineteen-seventies.

1898’s Historic Speech

Talking about 1898, Samuel Insull’s historic speech, “Public Control and Private Operation,” took place on the seventh of June of that year, in Insull’s adopted town of Chicago. Here are his key words that day, that built the foundation for the regulated utility industry:

“Acute competition necessarily frightens the investor, and compels corporations to pay a very high price for capital…