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August 20, 2004
Upcoming NEM Events

Please reserve the dates September 29-30, for NEM's Fall Industry Leadership Roundtable to be held in Boston. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Harborside. Please reserve your room ASAP (617-568-1234 or 1-800-233-1234) to receive the NEM rate of $189 per night. Many thanks to Nate Owen and Bob Potter of Energy Services Group for hosting the meeting. Many thanks also to Mike Foley of First Data Corporation for offering to sponsor other parts of the meeting. A hotlink is provided here for registration.

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held in Newport Beach, California on January 19-20, 2005. Many thanks to Peter Weigand and Ian Carter of Commonwealth Energy for offering to host this event.

Lastly, NEM's spring industry event will be held in Washington, DC at the Marriott Metro Center on either April 21-22, 2005, or April 26-27, 2005.

U.S.-Canada Blackout Taskforce Assessment Report

The Joint U.S.-Canada Taskforce on the August 2003 Blackout has issued a report assessing what remedial actions have been taken over the past year and what work remains to be done. The Taskforce reports that: 1) FirstEnergy, MISO, ECAR, and PJM have implemented the specific remedial actions recommended in the Taskforce's initial report; 2) NERC teams conducted 23 readiness audits to assess utilities' ability to meet reliability responsibilities; 3) a stakeholder workshop was held to develop a common understanding of the need to restate and clarify NERCís existing reliability standards; 4) the U.S. and Canada established a Bilateral Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) Oversight Group to address institutional issues concerning an international framework for reliability; 5) government agencies in the U.S. and Canada and NERC have cooperated to track progress on actions related to implementation of the Taskforceís recommendations; 6) most individual grid operators in North Americaís interconnected bulk power systems received at least five days of emergency preparedness training before June 30, 2004; and 7) NERC extended the life of its existing Urgent Action Standard 1200, concerning the physical and cyber security of bulk power systems, to August 2005, which will be replaced by a successor standard. The report also identifies a number of remaining challenges including: 1) enactment of federal reliability legislation; 2) completion of the revision of NERCís existing standards; 3) certification of the ERO by government agencies and approval of its standards; 4) obtaining independent funding for NERC, or the ERO, and the regional councils; 5) reform of the roles of regional councils; and 6) enhancement of the overall security of the electricity sector. The full text of the Report entitled "The August 14th Blackout One Year Later: Actions Taken To Reduce Blackout Risk" is available on the NEM Website.

Schwarzenegger Administration Supports Customer Choice

Governor Schwarzenegger's Resources Secretary, Mike Crisman, sent a letter opposing Assembly Speaker Nunez's energy legislation, AB2006. Crisman noted the Administration's support for the concept of customer choice. Crisman offered proposed statutory language that would require the PUC to re-establish end-use customers' right to enter into direct transactions. Additional proposed language would have the PUC establish resource adequacy requirements and require the use of a competitive procurement process. The full texts of Crisman's Letter and Proposed Statutory Language are available on the NEM Website.

Commission Schedules Electric Supplier Orientation Conference

The Commission has scheduled an Electric Supplier Orientation Conference for September 14, 2004, at 9:30AM at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County South Campus Main Seminar Room, 1450 South Rolling Road. Topics for discussion will include: retail choice review; web, licensing reporting and RPS; utility coordination; recently passed Code of Maryland Regulations, consumer protections & the complaints process; and an experienced electric suppliers panel. The full text of the Meeting Invitation is available on the NEM Website. You may use the following hotlink to register for the meeting:

Court of Appeals Decision on Code of Conduct

The Court of Appeals rejected DTE's challenge to the Commission's code of conduct requirements. Relying on its previous decisions in the matter, the Court found that: 1) statutory language gave the Commission a legislative mandate to adopt a code of conduct that applied to utilitiesí unregulated activities not directly related to retail open access; 2) the code of conduct is not a rule subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act; 3) the Commissionís implementation of the code of conduct does not intrude on management decisions of regulated utilities; 4) the code of conduct is not unconstitutionally vague and is not pre-empted by federal law; and 5) the claim that the code of conduct violates constitutional provisions is not ripe for review. The full text of the Court of Appeals Decision is available on the NEM Website.

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