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February 24, 2012
NEM's 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference

Since this is the beginning of NEM’s 15th Year, we have made special plans to celebrate this milestone at our 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference in Washington, DC on April 24 and 25, 2012. The Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites DC Convention Center, 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The Agenda is available at this hotlink.

Public Service Commission Chairs, Commissioners and other elected and appointed officials from around the country have already started to confirm their participation. Your sponsorship and support would be very helpful to make this NEM Event the best ever.

Sponsorship opportunities for this event can be viewed online at this hotlink.

Early registration for the April event is available online at this hotlink.

CFTC Meeting on Dodd Frank Rules

At a public meeting yesterday, CFTC adopted a final rule and a revised proposed rule amongst many to implement the Dodd Frank Act. CFTC deferred acting on a final rule that would adopt definitions of “Swap Dealer,” “Security-Based Swap Dealer,” “Major Swap Participant,” “Major Security-Based Swap Participant” and “Eligible Contract Participant.” The Commissioners alluded to the challeges of coordinating with SEC on the rules as a reason contributing to the delay.

CFTC adopted a final rule at the meeting that established reporting and recordkeeping requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants that are intended to permit auditing. Records required to be maintained include full and complete transaction and position information for all swap activities, and transaction records must be kept in a form that is identifiable and searchable by transaction and counterparty. CFTC adopted requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants to utilize a risk management program to monitor and manage risks associated with swap activities. CFTC adopted requirements on conflicts of interest that prohibit swap dealers, major swap participants, futures commission merchants and introducing brokers from providing favorable research or changing research to counterparties in exchange for business or compensation. CFTC also adopted rules pertaining to qualfifications, duties and annual reports to be provided by chief compliance officers for swap dealers and major swap participants. The rules were adopted by a 3-2 vote, with Commissioners Sommers and O'Malia opposing. Commissioner O'Malia in particular expressed concern about the deficiency of the cost-benefit analysis performed in support of the rule.

CFTC also approved a revised proposal to determine what constitutes a large notional swap transaction or block trade for the purpose of applying time delays in public reporting of swap transactions.

Click here to view all past updates.
Columbia Plan for Choice Program Cost Recovery

As required by the Commission, Columbia filed a transition plan to move choice customers back to full utility service, proposing that this take place by the April 2012 billing cycle. Columbia also noted its, "intent to assist the suppliers in transitioning the commercial customers from Choice to the Gas Transportation Service program that is available to all commercial and industrial customers on Columbia’s system." In connection with the transition plan, Columbia filed an implementation cost recovery plan to recover the $255,031.00 in costs associated with programming its billing system and its supplier communication software to comply with COMAR 20.59 regulations. Columbia's preferred plan would utilize a fifteen month recovery period that would commence in April 2012. Columbia would file a base rate case in January 2013 to remove the portion of base rates that originally reflected recovery of choice administration and maintenance costs, and subsequently recovered implementation costs. The full text of the Implementation Cost Recovery Plan is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Revokes AEP Settlement

The Commission revoked AEP's electric security plan agreement, which it had previously approved in December 2011. This was based on the Commission's conclusion that, "AEP-Ohio's FERC filing is inconsistent with the intent of the Commission in that it fails to ensure that all generation assets currentiy owned by AEP-Ohio will be bid into the upcoming base residual auction." The Commission also found that the settling parties failed to demonstrate that the Market Transition Rider and Load Factor Provisions of the settlement promote rate certainty and stability as required in the applicable statute and that the, "record inadvertently failed to present a full and accurate portrayal of the actual bill impacts to be felt by customers, particularly with respect to low load factor customers who have low usage but high demand." As a result of its rejection of the settlement, AEP must file new proposed tariffs to continue the provisions, terms, and conditions of its previous electric security plan by February 28, 2012. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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