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Energy Policy & Legislation

NARUC's Gas Committee

Conversation with New York PSC commissioner and gas committee chair Diane Burman, plus comments by vice chairs, subcommittee chairs and vice chairs.
Diane Burman: The Gas Committee deals with critical issues including reliability, pipeline safety, energy efficiency,  and the review of appropriate policies to enhance and modernize the natural gas utility infrastructure.
Author Bio: 

Diane Burman is NARUC's Gas Committee Chair and a commissioner with the New York PSC.

Two Staff Subcommittees

Hawaii: Chris Lee

“Today we are already well on the way to solving our energy problems. And if it can be done here, then it can be done elsewhere.”
Author Bio: 

Chris Lee is a Hawaii State Representative.

State Representative

Illicit Marketing Practices

We’ll cover state PUC rulings from New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, dealing with 1) billing overcharges, 2) deceptive promises of savings, 3) faulty enrollment practices, 4) “slamming,” 5) misleading sales scripts used in telemarketing, 6) hidden fixed charges, and 7) concealed pass-through clauses.
Author Bio: 

Phillip Cross is legal editor, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and serves on the editorial staff of Utility Regulatory News, published by Public Utilities Reports, Inc. (our publisher), which reports weekly on ratemaking and regulatory decisions issued by state public utility commissions.

State PUCs take aim at unscrupulous electric and gas suppliers.

Order 745: Challenge to Plain Old Power Markets

The marginal external benefits provided by demand response prove more than sufficient to overcome concerns that paying LMP was too expensive.
"The rule will allow wholesale markets to shape load curves to reduce the prices." – Charles Cicchetti
Author Bio: 

Dr. Charles Cicchetti is co-founder of Pacific Economics Group and formerly was the Miller Chair in Government, Business and the Economy at the University of Southern California. Previously, he served with Arthur Andersen Economic Consulting (managing director), Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett (co-chairman), National Economic Research Associates (NERA, as senior vice president), and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (as chairman).

The Order will extend application of load-reducing technologies and marketing to a new class of services.

Obligations and Opportunities: Wires Cos. Plug In to Clean Power Plan

When the the Clean Power Plan is reviewed on the merits in Fall 2017, Justice Scalia will have been replaced, and the newest justice may hold the key to the fate of the plan.
"Utilities should use this time to formulate informed positions on the implementation issues that most affect their business." – Brendan Collins
Author Bio: 

Brendan K. Collins is a partner with Ballard Spahr LLP with extensive experience in the electric power sector. He is a member of Ballard’s environmental, energy and appellate litigation practice groups. Brendan has served as lead counsel for a group of energy companies in litigation before the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court concerning the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Vol. 1: “If It’s Stayed, Why Should I Go?”

Response to Brown Re: Net Metering

Is rooftop solar more like an independent power producer, subject to societal regulation and policy, such as wholesale-level regulation or retail-level resource planning? Or is the electricity that is produced a private consumer good, immune from regulation, policy, and planning?
Author Bio: 

Dr. Charles Cicchetti is a member of Pacific Economics Group, Inc. and the former Miller Chair of Government, Business and the Economy at the University of Southern California.

A response to the letter to the editor by Ashley Brown in our February 2016 issue.

Perfect Superstorm

Since Obama won reelection, we must ask whether we’d rather have EPA cracking down on carbon emissions, or whether a legislated framework would be better for everyone.

Author Bio: 

Michael T. Burr is Fortnightly’s editor-in-chief. Email him at

Could carbon taxes emerge in the election aftermath?

Mitt Romney and You

The Republican nominee’s energy plan doesn’t say much about electricity or natural gas. But what it does say should sound familiar to anyone who’s followed energy policy for more than four years.
Author Bio: 

Michael T. Burr is Fortnightly’s editor-in-chief. Email him at

Bold plan for independence, or more partisan overreach?

Load as a Resource

Historically, grid operators tapped into voluntary load reduction as a last resort for keeping the lights on. But now, smart grid technologies and dynamic pricing mechanisms bring vastly greater potential for using load as a dispatchable resource. Effective implementation requires advanced technologies—and also foresight in creating programs, policies, and market mechanisms.

Author Bio: 

Audrey Zibelman is co-founder and CEO of Viridity Energy, and formerly was chief operating officer at PJM. Chika Nwankpa is a professor and Director of the Center for Electric Power Engineering (CEPE) at Drexel University. Alain Steven is co-founder and executive vice president of strategy at Viridity Energy, and formerly was chief technology officer at PJM. Allen Freifeld is senior vice president of law and public policy at Viridity Energy, and formerly was a commissioner on the Maryland Public Service Commission. 

Integrating controllable demand into real-time, security constrained economic dispatch.

The Methane Myth

The EPA’s new method for measuring the amount of methane that escapes from natural gas wells is based on flawed data. Oklahoma’s attorney general says this misguided policy decision treads on state regulatory authority and stifles resource development.

Op Ed
Author Bio: 

E. Scott Pruitt is attorney general of Oklahoma and chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Incompetence and overreach at the EPA.