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March 26, 2010
NEM's 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM's 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference - NEM will convene its 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel Washington D.C. Convention Center on April 27th & 28th, 2010. This year’s theme is “Renaissance in Energy Markets.” Topics of discussion will include Competitive Energy Supply, Demand, Prices and Economic Opportunities. Please use this hotlink to register for the event.

We have already confirmed a number of key regulators and legislators and this promises to be a "can't miss" event. Confirmed participants include: Congressman James Clyburn, Majority Whip (D-SC); U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT); Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) (invited); Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (invited); Congressman Glenn Thompson, Jr. (R-PA); Jon Wellinghoff, FERC Chairman; Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy; Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner; Philip Moeller, FERC Commissioner; James Cawley, PAPUC Chairman; Alan Schriber, OH PUC Chairman; Douglas Nazarian, MDPSC Chairman; Manuel Flores, ICC Chairman; Orjiakor Osiogu, MIPSC Chairman; David Armstrong, KYPSC Chairman; Sharon Reishus, ME PUC Chairman; Betty Ann Kane, DCPSC Chairman; Erin O'Connell Diaz, ICC Commissioner; Catherine Pugh, MD State Senator; Jess Totten, TX PUC Director; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; and Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC.

House Oversight Committee Hearing for FERC

Earlier this week, the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held an oversight hearing for FERC. FERC Chairman Wellinghoff and the Commissioners appeared. Chairman Wellinghoff discussed the importance of a safe and reliable energy infrastructure, including smart grid policy and also FERC's responsibility in ensuring just and reasonable rates for jurisdictional services. Of particular note, Wellinghoff said, "Whatever decisions Congress makes with respect to financial derivatives, those decisions should preserve the Commission’s exclusive oversight of rates, terms and conditions for wholesale energy sales and prevent dual regulation of energy markets by the Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Second, I believe that the organized wholesale electric markets create opportunities and encourage innovations that benefit consumers."

Commissioner Spitzer explained, "how competitive interstate natural gas and electric transmission markets have benefitted consumers and how the Commission monitors the competitive markets." Spitzer went on to say, "As a proponent of competitive markets, I believe that the Commission must continue to focus on enhancing competition in wholesale electric and interstate natural gas markets. The Commission must continue in its role as an independent wholesale energy regulator by developing rules and policies that allow all types of resources and infrastructure to compete fairly. Just as we should not adopt rules or policies that ignore the laws of supply and demand, we should not adopt rules or policies that ignore any type of energy resource or infrastructure. Likewise, our rules and policies should not favor one type of resource or infrastructure over another. If we are to achieve the two primary goals of the Strategic Plan laid out by Chairman Wellinghoff, then the Commission's role should be to establish rules and policies that ensure all types of resources, whether they are natural gas, oil, hydro, nuclear, wind, solar or demand resources, have a full and fair opportunity to compete for the ultimate benefit of consumers."

The full texts of Chairman Wellinghoff and Commissioner Spitzer's Testimony are available on the NEM Website.

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Procedural Schedule Adopted in ComEd POR Case

At a status hearing this week, the ALJ in ComEd's electric POR proposal case approved the following procedural schedule:

Company Direct Testimony - April 16th
Staff and Intervenor Direct Testimony - June 10th
Company Rebuttal Testimony - July 7th
Staff and Intervenor Rebuttal Testimony - August 4th
Company Surrebuttal Testimony and Pretrial Memorandum - August 11th
Hearings - August 18th-19th
Simultaneous Initial Briefs - September 3rd
Simultaneous Reply Briefs - September 15th
Proposed Order - October 13th
Simultaneous BOEs - October 27th
PEPO - November 4th
End of Final Suspension Period - December 18th

New York
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Commission Approves ConEd/O&R Capacity Release Tariff Changes

The Commission approved proposed tariff amendments filed by ConEd and O&R to change the terms under which they release upstream pipeline capacity to Marketers to allow the Companies to release capacity at their weighted average cost of capacity (WACOC). Currently, ConEd and O&R are releasing capacity at maximum rates and then applying a credit or surcharge to bills rendered to transportation customers for the difference between the Marketer’s cost of released capacity and the LDC’s WACOC. FERC's recently issued Order 712 now exempts releases made under state mandated retail access programs from the bidding requirement, regardless of the rate at which the utility releases the capacity, and therefore utilities can release capacity to marketers at a rate equal to their WACOC without posting the release transaction for bidding. The tariff change will become effective November 1, 2010. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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