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March 13, 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. The early-bird registration rates for members and non-members end on February 28, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact (202) 739-2001 for reservations and reference group code A-MN.

A number of U.S. and foreign officials have already confirmed their participation in the event. Those confirmed thus far include: James Clyburn, U.S. House Majority Whip; Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Gene Green, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; H.E. John Bruton, European Commission 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; Nicholas Asselta, NJBPU Commissioner; Erin O'Connell-Diaz, Illinois Commerce Commissioner; Steven Transeth, MIPSC Commissioner; James Kendall, EIA Natural Gas Division Director; Harris McDowell, Delaware Senate; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC Assistant Executive Director; 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.

Senate Considers Transmission Siting Authority Legislation

The Majority Staff of the Senate Energy Committee prepared draft language for a transmission siting and planning bill, that would increase federal authority in this area. The draft bill would grant FERC approval authority over "national high priority transmission projects" defined as a project of 345 kilovolts or more that is included in an interconnection wide transmission plan. The draft bill provides for the creation of regional planning entities for the eastern and western interconnections that would submit interconnection-wide transmission plans to FERC. It also provides for FERC review of cost allocation plans for projects developed under the transmission plans.

At a hearing on the subject this week before the Senate Energy Committee, FERC Acting Chairman Wellinghoff suggested that, "Congress should consider the question of how best to exercise its authority over interstate commerce to ensure that necessary transmission is built in a timely manner to deliver location-constrained renewable power to customers. Without broader Federal siting authority to accommodate high levels of renewable electric energy – authority similar to that which exists for interstate natural gas pipelines and most non-Federal hydropower projects – it is unlikely that the Nation will be able to achieve energy security and economic stability." On the other hand, NARUC Second Vice President Clark stated that, "NARUC’s position prior to passage of EPAct 2005 was, and continues to be, that to have the greatest economical and environmental benefits transmission facilities should not be nationalized but encouraged to be regionalized. Just as States have a role in the siting of interstate highways, States need to continue having an active role in transmission decisions." The full texts of the Draft Transmission Bill, Wellinghoff's Testimony and Clark's Testimony are available on the NEM Website.

Technical Conference on Pipeline Posting Requirements

FERC will hold a technical conference on March 18, 2009, from 9AM to 1PM in reference to Order 720 on pipeline posting requirements. Topics for discussion at the conference include: 1) defining major non-interstate pipelines; 2) accounting for high capacity receipt and delivery points where scheduling does not occur; and 3) estimating the cost of compliance. The full text of the Technical Conference Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Rulemaking Session on Electric and Gas Supplier Rules

This week the Commission held rulemaking sessions to consider proposed electric and natural gas supplier rules. The Commission approved the electric rules but delayed action on the natural gas rules. The approved electric rules pertain to utility purchase of receivable programs or prorated payment programs; utility consolidated billing; and utility responsibilities in the event of supplier default. The proposed natural gas rules pertain to: provision of pre-enrollment information; transfers of service; utility consolidated billing; utility purchase of receivable programs or prorated payment programs; and residential and non-residential consumer protections. The full text of the Rules as Proposed is available at:

New York
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Comment Sought on Utility Compliance Filings on Customer Remote Access to Account Numbers

At the end of 2006, the utilities made compliance filings in response to the Commission requirement that they submit plans, "describing prior efforts and proposing plans to provide customers with secure, real-time remote access to their distribution utility account number (or Point of Delivery Identification Number if the distribution utility account number is not used for enrolling a customer with an ESCO). The filing shall include itemized cost estimates and a timetable for implementation, and shall discuss how the proposed plan will maintain the privacy and security of customer information." The Commission is now requesting comments on the utility plans. Comments are due April 27, 2009. The full texts of the Utility Compliance Filings are available on the NEM Website.

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