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April 24, 2009
NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting

NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting will be held April 28 & 29, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Please register at this hotlink.

The Embassy Suites Hotel is now booked. If you have not yet made your reservations, please contact Catalina at NEM headquarters (202-333-3288) ASAP for assistance.

A number of U.S. and foreign officials have already confirmed their participation in the event. Those confirmed thus far include: Byron Dorgan, U.S. Senate; Jim DeMint, U.S. Senate; James Clyburn, U.S. House Majority Whip; U.S. Congressman Joe Barton, Ranking Member, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Gene Green, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Lee Terry, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; H.E. John Bruton, European Commission Ambassador; H.E. Michael Wilson, Canadian Ambassador; H.E. Andrejs Pildegovics, Latvian Ambassador; Aleksei Shishayev, Russian Embassy - Head of Economic Section; Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner; Philip Moeller, FERC Commissioner; Garry Brown, NYPSC Chairman; James Cawley, PAPUC Chairman; Alan Schriber, Ohio PUC Chairman; Orjiakor Isiogu, MIPSC Chairman; Donna Nelson, TX PUC Commissioner, Robert Curry, NYPSC Commissioner; Stan Wise, GAPSC Commissioner; Erin O'Connell-Diaz, Illinois Commerce Commissioner; James Kendall, EIA Natural Gas Division Director; Harris McDowell, Delaware Senate; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC Assistant Executive Director; John Hofmeister, Citizens for Affordable Energy; and Chris Hendrix, General Manager, Competitive Energy - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.. The full text of the April Meeting Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

House Subcommittee Hearings on Climate Legislation

The House Energy subcommittee on Energy and Environment held four days of legislative hearings this week to consider Congressmen Waxman and Markey's draft of clean energy legislation entitled, "The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009." Participants in the hearings included representatives from both political parties, utilities, industry, small and large consumers, and the states. Additional information can be viewed at this hotlink.

The draft would require retail electricity suppliers to meet a gradually increasing percentage of their load with electricity generated from renewable resources. The requirement would begin at 6% in 2012 and increase up to 25% in 2025. It also would allow state governors to elect to meet one fifth of the requirement with energy efficiency measures. The term "retail electric supplier" is defined to mean, "for any given year, an electric utility that sold not less than 1,000,000 megawatt hours of electric energy to electric consumers for purposes other than resale during the preceding calendar year."

The draft would also establish a global warming pollution reduction program applicable to electric utilities, oil companies, large industrial sources, and other entities. It would require these entities to have tradeable allowances representative of the tons of pollution they emitted. The amount of available allowances would be steadily reduced to ensure reduction of emissions.

The draft would charge FERC with regulating the cash market in emission allowances and offsets. Upon advise of an interagency workgroup, the President would delegate regulatory authority for the derivatives market to an appropriate agency or agencies.

The full text of the Discussion Draft is available on the NEM Website.

EPA Greenhouse Gas Initiatives

EPA recently increased its activity on the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. First, they issued a proposed mandatory GHG reporting rule for large sources, including suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial greenhouse gases, engine and vehicle manufacturers, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions. The report would collect information on carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hyrdoflourocarbons, perflourocarbons, sulfur hexaflouride, and other flourinated gases. Comments on the proposal are due June 9, 2009.

Additionally, EPA issued a proposed endangerment finding regarding GHGs. The proposed finding is that the six key GHGs (listed above) in the atmosphere "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations." Additionally, the proposed finding is that certain of these GHGs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to atmospheric concentrations of these key GHGs and thereby also to the threat of climate change. These findings could lead to regulation under the Clean Air Act. Comments on the proposed finding are due sixty days after publication in the Federal Register.

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SB695 on Direct Access Passes Senate Energy Committee

Sb695, which would reinstate direct access for certain customers passed the Senate Energy Committee this week. Next, it will head to the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB695 provides in relevant part that: "the commission may allow individual retail nonresidential end-use customers to acquire electric service from electric service providers, subject to the limitation that the total annual kilowatthours supplied by all electric service providers to distribution customers of an electrical corporation shall not exceed the maximum total annual level of kilowatthours supplied by all electric service providers, within that electrical corporation’s distribution service territory, for any year between April 1, 1998, and December 31, 2009. By January 31, 2010, the commission shall calculate and adopt a phase-in schedule of not less than three years, and not more than five years, to raise the allowable limit of kilowatthours supplied by other providers from the number of kilowatthours provided by other providers as of the operative date of this section, to the maximum total annual level for each electrical corporation’s distribution service territory."

The ability of other retail consumers to participate in direct access would be suspended until the legislature, by statute, lifts the suspension or otherwise authorizes direct transactions. The legislation would also provide for the Commission to report to the legislature on the "efficacy" of permitting direct access for residential consumers. The full text of SB695 is available from NEM headquarters.

New York
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Comments Sought on 18-a Assessment

The Commission is requesting comments on implementation of the PSL 18-a assessment consistent with the legislative revisions recently passed. The Commission explains that, "That section imposes upon public utility companies an Assessment equal to two per centum of the utility's gross intrastate operating revenues, less the amount assessed to pay the costs and expenses of the Commission and the Department of Public Service, as a credit to the state general fund. The revenues subject to the Assessment include revenues derived from sales of electricity and natural gas commodities by third parties. The issues under consideration include accounting treatments; billing mechanisms for recovering the Assessment from rate payers; processes for estimating revenues associated with provision of electricity and natural gas commodities by third parties; and any other related issues." Comments are due June 8, 2009.

SUNY Seeks Exemption from Capacity Release Rules

SUNY filed a petition to request an exemption from the mandatory capacity release policy recently adopted by the Commission. SUNY specifically requested that, "the Commission issue a Declaratory Ruling establishing that upon demonstration by SUNY and/or its marketer(s) that natural gas procured by SUNY will be delivered on a primary firm point-to-point, non-recallable basis to the Local Distribution Company city gate, or that such load is backed by an alternative fuel option, such natural gas supply is not subject to the mandatory capacity release requirements set forth by the Commission." Comments on the SUNY Petition are due June 8, 2009. The full text of the SUNY Petition is available from NEM headquarters.

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