Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Operation

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 8

									     Operation
                      Go Green
                                          It is time to be more innovative and efficient to better
                                          balance energy demands with environmental needs,
                                          says 2008 NARUC President Marsha H. Smith.




                                    Y   ou could call her the “Queen
                                    of Green”—and the crown her colleagues
                                    gave her to wear during her induction
                                    as the 2008 president of the National
                                    Association of Regulatory Utility Com-
                                    missioners fit well as Commissioner
                                    Marsha H. Smith outlined her plans
                                                                                Idaho Public Utilities Commission; her
                                                                                current term expires in January 2009.
                                                                                    During her 27-year career, she has
                                                                                taken on increasingly influential roles
                                                                                in developing public policy. Before her
                                                                                appointment to the commission, Smith
                                                                                acted as deputy attorney general in the
                                    for her “reign.” NARUC’s member agen-       business regulation/consumer affairs
                                    cies regulate the activities of energy,     division of the Office of the Idaho At-
                                    telecommunications and water utilities      torney General and as deputy attorney
                                    and—like the utilities themselves—          general for the Idaho Public Utilities
                                    face significant challenges during a time   Commission.
                                    when both energy demand and prices              In recent years, she has come to em-
                                    are rising rapidly.                         brace energy efficiency as a crucial mis-
                                       Smith hopes to combine her experi-       sion. In fact, Smith serves as co-chair—
                                    ence in developing policies for the tele-   along with Duke Energy Chairman,
                                    communications and energy industries        President and CEO James E. Rogers—of
                                    with her desire to leave the world a        the National Action Plan for Energy Ef-
                                    better place for her two sons in an ac-     ficiency (Action Plan). This initiative is
                                    tion plan that will create better stew-     a collaborative effort among state regu-
                                    ards and improved energy efficiency         lators, the federal government, utilities
                                    throughout the United States.
                                       Smith is serving her third term on the         By Stacey L. BeLL


28   februarY 2008   AMERICAN GAS
                                                    and energy consumers aimed at identi-
                                                    fying and reducing key barriers limiting
                                                    greater investment in energy efficiency.
                                                        Action Plan has developed a series of
                                                    recommendations and currently is work-
                                                    ing on implementing them regionally.
                                                    The organization’s policy recommenda-
                                                    tions include encouraging numerous
                                                    audiences to recognize energy efficien-
                                                    cy as a high-priority energy resource,
                                                    broadly communicating the benefits of
                                                    and opportunities for energy efficiency,
                                                    and reviewing and adopting policies to
                                                    align utility incentives with the delivery
                                                    of cost-effective energy efficiency and
                                                    modifying ratemaking practices to pro-
                                                    mote energy efficiency investments.
                                                        The group notes that energy efficien-
                                                    cy programs can lower customer energy
                                                    bills as well as help to defer the need for
                                                    new energy production. “Many state and
                                                    regional studies have found that adop-
                                                    tion of economically attractive, but as yet
                                                    untapped, energy efficiency could yield
                                                    more than 20 percent savings in total
                                                    electricity demand nationwide by 2025.
                                                    …Savings in direct use of natural gas
                                                    could similarly provide a 50 percent or
                                                    greater reduction in natural gas demand
                                                    growth,” the organization has reported.
                                                        NARUC led the effort to form the Ac-
                                                    tion Plan, and the Alliance to Save En-
                                                    ergy presented its Andromeda award to
                                                    NARUC last September in recognition of
                                                    its consistent and strong commitment to
                                                    promoting energy efficiency programs,
                                                    providing educational opportunities for
                                                    state regulators on related issues, and de-
                                                    veloping and furthering the Action Plan.
                                                        “I believe the work of the National
                                                    Action Plan for Energy Efficiency that

Photo courtesy of Matt Green of PoMerelle studios             AMERICAN GAS   februarY 2008   29
               OperaTION GO GreeN



I now co-chair is of the highest impor-         the members approved two resolutions            2007 have all urged Congress to reward
tance for our future,” Smith says. “Most        dealing with this issue. These actions          early adopters and grandfather state and
of all, I am proud of the Idaho Commis-         constituted a profound statement for            regional climate change programs. We
sion’s actions that have preserved the          our association as, for the first time, we      believe states should act as they feel ap-
financial stability of our energy utilities     endorsed federal legislation on climate         propriate—and their programs should be
while maintaining reasonable and rela-          change. Although there is a diversity of        considered as Congress moves forward—
tively stable rates.”                           opinion among NARUC members on cli-             but we are calling for federal action to
    Smith says she looks forward to             mate change matters, we support legisla-        bring certainty so our country can ad-
working with natural gas utility compa-         tion to remove uncertainties that may be        dress energy infrastructure questions.
nies in 2008 as everyone strives to “do
more with less.” In an exclusive interview
with American Gas, Commissioner Smith                   “The natural gas industry has really
shared more of her insights into the en-
ergy environment—and challenges—we                   taken a lead in energy efficiency.”
face today.                                                                                                   —NARUC President Marsha H. Smith


aMerICaN GaS: The issue of global cli-
mate change has gained more national at-         hampering generation and transmission          aMerICaN GaS: As co-chair of the Na-
tention during the past year with major          investment decisions.                          tional Action Plan for Energy Efficiency,
international concerts and even television          NARUC has not endorsed any particu-         you have led an effort to bring leaders from
networks sponsoring special activities to        lar kind of market-based mechanism for         state public utility commissions, utilities
raise awareness. Do you believe climate          reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but         and energy consumers together to identify
change should be addressed on a federal or       we do spell out principles that we believe     key barriers limiting greater U.S. invest-
state level? What is NARUC’s position on         Congress should take into account if it        ment in energy efficiency and to develop
climate change?                                  considers implementing a cap-and-trade         sound business practices for removing those
COMMISSIONer SMITH: This topic                   program. Essentially, we believe that a        barriers. What have been some of the Ac-
was actively discussed at NARUC’s an-            100 percent auction of emission credits is     tion Plan’s most interesting findings? How
nual convention late last year when              ultimately the most economically efficient     will these findings be implemented in every-
                                                          mechanism for reducing emis-          day life?
                                                          sions, but an initial, temporary      COMMISSIONer SMITH: We have a tre-
What Is a                                                 allocation of emissions at no cost
                                                          within the electricity sector is an
                                                                                                mendous opportunity to use energy ef-
                                                                                                ficiency in our resource mix. Regulators,
Cap-and-Trade                                             appropriate transitional mea-         utilities and a wide range of stakeholders
Program?             “Cap and trade” refers to a          sure. No-cost allowances should       increasingly are working together to re-
program whereby each ton of greenhouse gases              be allocated to local distribution    move the barriers preventing efficiency
emitted is accounted for. There is a cap, or limit,       companies based primarily on          from meeting its true potential. All parts
on the total tons emitted. The system is governed
                                                          historic emissions. This practice     of the country are taking a serious look
                                                          would allow state regulators or       at efficiency so that they can find ways
by allowances (also known as “permits to emit”).
                                                          others to ensure that the value       to meet the rising demand for energy in
A business, for example, must hold an allowance
                                                          of these free emissions benefits      a low-cost way. The environmental ben-
to emit one ton; allowances, and cap, will go
                                                          end-user consumers. [That is,         efits of efficiency, including zero carbon
down over time. Allowances may be bought,
                                                          the benefit of the no-cost al-        emissions, make the resource even more
sold or traded.
                                                          lowance will be passed on to          attractive as we face pending carbon
   So, in practice, if Company A has cut emis-
                                                          the consumer, not the emitter.]       regulations.
sions below some set point, it holds allowances (or       Finally, cost containment mea-            Currently, 120 organizations have
credits) it can sell or trade. The credits represent      sures should be incorporated          made commitments to energy efficiency
the difference between the emissions the busi-            into a cap-and-trade program to       under the Action Plan, including five
ness is permitted to send into the atmosphere             protect regulated utilities and,      utility commissions. The natural gas in-
and the lower level it actually emits. Company A          ultimately, ratepayers from           dustry has really taken a lead in energy
can sell its credits to another business that isn’t       abrupt cost and rate increases        efficiency in the past and is again, en-
able to meet a set emissions level. In theory, the        due to the cost of compliance.        thusiastically, a leader in providing this
combined emissions from the two businesses then               Of course, our resolutions        resource to customers.
meet federal standards.                                   on this issue dating back to July         By sharing success across the coun-

30      februarY 2008   AMERICAN GAS
                                                www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/pdf/vision.         a much better understanding of all the
                                                pdf, on p. ES-2.]                           local issues and concerns that must be
                                                    A lot of work remains to increase       taken into account during rate cases and
                                                our energy efficiency resource, includ-     other regulatory proceedings.
                                                ing outreach, education and invest-            Beyond that, NARUC has been consis-
                                                ment. Much of the work will be done         tent in its belief that a national energy
                                                on the local and state levels, and the      policy must be holistic and economy-
                                                Action Plan helps us to learn from each     wide, and all options must be considered.
                                                other. We must not delay this worth-        We have long supported, and continue
                                                while work so that we may maximize          to do so, policies that promote a diverse
                                                the results and benefits that energy        generation mix and programs that allow
                                                efficiency provides.                        states flexibility to meet and/or exceed
                                                                                            federal “floors” instead of a federal




North Carolina Commissioner and 2007
NARUC President James Y. Kerr passed the
leadership mantle to Idaho Commissioner
and 2008 NARUC President Marsha H. Smith
during the NARUC convention in November.

Crowned “Diva” by her colleagues for her
acceptance speech at the NARUC convention
in November, Smith told attendees about
her plans for her “reign.”

try, the Action Plan is helping to build
a foundation for change by increasing
understanding, providing direction on
policy and program changes, motivating
action and offering technical guidance to
organizations looking to increase their
use of energy efficiency resources. These
actions can lead to meeting customer              “We need to be good stewards of what
needs in a low-cost and efficient man-
ner, without compromising, and in many                we have available, and we need to
cases improving, the level of service they
receive when heating their homes or
                                                    be as efficient as possible.”
                                                                                                          —NARUC President Marsha H. Smith
cooking dinner.

aMerICaN GaS: What work remains for           aMerICaN GaS: What issues would               “ceiling.” [That is, NARUC would like to
the Action Plan?                              NARUC like to see addressed in an expand-     ensure that a state can pass a tougher
COMMISSIONer SMITH:            Our goal is    ed national energy policy?                    program than that mandated by the fed-
to capture all cost-effective energy ef-      COMMISSIONer SMITH: We hope that              eral government if it wants to, but states
ficiency, which will deliver tremendous       whatever policies Congress and the ad-        cannot be more lenient.]
benefits. The Action Plan’s “Vision for       ministration develop and implement do
2025” lays out the path to achieve this       not preempt existing state laws and reg-      aMerICaN GaS: In your opinion, what
level of energy efficiency. The vision’s 10   ulatory policies on several issues, includ-   role should natural gas play in national
implementation goals for both natural         ing, but not limited to, rate recovery and    energy legislation and in combating global
gas and electric utilities provide a frame-   related authorities. This is particularly     climate change?
work for taking actions and measuring         important to states because as regula-        COMMISSIONer SMITH: NARUC sup-
progress. [These goals are outlined at        tors we are on the front lines and have                                CoNTINUed oN PAge 35


                                                                                                     AMERICAN GAS   februarY 2008      31
LIHEAP’S
       TIgHTRoPE
      Funding for the Low Income Home energy assistance Program exceeds $2 billion, but it falls




                                        I
                                          t often seems that the yearly struggle         fueling funding Momentum
                                          over funding the federal Low Income            LIHEAP supporters scored a major victory
                                          Home Energy Assistance Program has             in 2005 when Congress boosted funding
                                          as much nail-biting suspense as your           by $1 billion for fiscal 2006, in effect reset-
                                          average Hollywood thriller.                    ting the bar for LIHEAP appropriations.
                                              This year, the LIHEAP funding story        But the need for help still far outpaces
                                          was even more of a cliffhanger than            available funds; only 16 percent of eligible
                                     usual, largely because of politics. During          families are receiving help from the fed-
                                     the fall, President Bush vetoed the Labor,          eral program.
                                     Health and Human Services and Education                Continuing the funding momentum
                                     appropriations bill, which contained fiscal         has been a challenge. “The response to LI-
                                     2008 funding for LIHEAP. The House nar-             HEAP on the part of Congress tends to be
                                     rowly sustained the veto.                           reactive,” says Lausevic. “The perception
                                        That was how LIHEAP funding ended                at the time [2005] was that there was an
                                     up in the omnibus spending bill passed by           emergency because of rising fuel costs. But
                                     the House and Senate just before Congress           there was a mild winter last year, and there
                                                    adjourned for the holidays.          wasn’t a huge price spike.”
                                                    “LIHEAP was just a part of              Even though winter comes, predictably,
     our family was facing                          a larger political puzzle,” ex-      at the same time each year, low-income en-
     homelessness. The last thing                   plains Vivian Lausevic, AGA          ergy assistance seems to be a program that
      we needed to worry about was not              director of public affairs.          needs to be resold year after year. “Congress
      having any lights. [LIHeAP] helped
                                                       The omnibus bill contained        responds, but only when it senses a crisis,”
      us as we struggled to move our
      family from eviction to a new home.           $1.98 billion in formula grant       Lausevic says.
                         —Father, family of 11,
                                                    funding for LIHEAP, the same            One organization working to get LIHEAP
                  entergy customer in Louisiana     level as in fiscal 2007, and in-     funding out of crisis mode is the National
                                                    creased the emergency con-           Fuel Funds Network, a Washington-based
                                                    tingency fund from $181.7            organization with more than 300 members
                                     million to $590.3 million.                          from nonprofit and government agencies
                                        The outcome of the 2007 LIHEAP strug-            and utilities. “Our organization is trying
                                     gle was encouraging, but as AGA President           to increase the visibility of LIHEAP,” says
                                     and CEO David Parker pointed out in a let-          George Coling, NFFN executive director.
                                     ter to all members of the Senate, if funding           “Polls show that voters in all parts of the
                                     for LIHEAP had kept pace with inflation, the        country perceive a need for federal energy
                                     program would now be                                                   support and don’t have
                                                                      Stories by S. Lawrence Paulson
                                     at the $4.2 billion level.                                             much of a problem with

32       februarY 2008   AMERICAN GAS
                                                                                           LIHeap
                                                                                          Goes Local


WALK
                                                                                          Utilities work closely
                                                                                          with state and local agencies
                                                                                          to make sure consumers
                                                                                          get needed help.




                                                                                          S
                                                                                                           kyrocketing energy pric-
                                                                                                           es affect us all, but low-
                                                                                                           er-income households
                                                                                                           are especially hard hit.
far short of inflation-adjusted levels and U.S. consumers’ needs.                                          Studies have found that
                                                                                                           such households now
                                                                                                           are dedicating nearly
                                                                                          20 percent of their take-home pay to
                                                                                          home energy bills. During the past five
     an increased level,” Coling says. But         Likely topics of discussion at the     years, the number of households eligi-
     LIHEAP must compete with other             2008 Action Day—if the issues were        ble to receive help from the Low Income
     health, education and labor pro-           not resolved by then—include the          Home Energy Assistance Program has
     grams, he notes, adding, “It’s just a      need to persuade the White House to       increased by 15 percent.
     tough fight.”                              release emergency funds for use this         Both the number of delinquencies
        Also, Coling says, “The program is      winter and to garner support for a        and the amount owed are climbing as
     perceived as a cold-weather program,       measure introduced in December by         well. The total amount of natural gas
     and we need to make it a national pro-     Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Norm     customer uncollectible accounts grew
     gram” that includes money for cooling      Coleman, R-Minn., to increase LIHEAP      30 percent between 2003 and 2006, in-
     as well as heating. The extra $1 billion   funding by $800 million in fiscal 2008,   dicating that customers faced increased
     in 2006 helped achieve that objec-         with the additional funds to be equally   difficulty in paying their home energy
     tive, he says, “but we need to continu-    distributed between the block grant       bills. A National Regulatory Research
     ally work to get [lawmakers from] the      and emergency funding programs.           Institute report found that the percent-
     South and the West to support the             Parker said in his letter that AGA     age of natural gas accounts that were
     extra money.”                              “fully supports” the Sanders-Coleman
                                                measure, which “more adequately
                                                funds a program that seniors, work-
     2008 LIHeap action Day                     ing families and disabled Ameri-
     The principal lobbying event for LI-       cans need to meet their most
     HEAP supporters is NFFN’s Wash-            basic needs.”
     ington Action Day for LIHEAP, which
     was scheduled this year for Jan. 30.
     The 2007 event attracted 145 NFFN
     members and LIHEAP supporters, who
     met with 40-plus newly elected House
     members and senators.
        Many AGA member companies are
     active participants in Action Day (see
     p. 7), and Coling says utility sup-
     port is essential to the effort. “In
     general,” he stresses, “we have to
     raise the awareness of persistent
     poverty, as well as the plight of
     the working poor and those in
     crisis situations.”
             LIHeap GOeS LOCaL



                                   past due rose to 21 percent in 2006, with the               10-day processing hold on the account so that no
                                   average past due amount jumping from $263 in                delinquency action will be taken,” he explains.
                                   2001 to $334 in 2006.
                                      For years, natural gas utilities have recognized
                                          LIHEAP’s value and played an important               Getting the Word Out
                                          role in delivering LIHEAP help to consum-            Because utilities want to avoid cutting service
                                          ers in need.                                         to customers if they possibly can, they work
                                                                                               hard to get the word out to customers about
                                                                                               the availability of LIHEAP and other energy as-
                                            How It Works                                       sistance funds. In Minnesota, CenterPoint call
                                               State agencies receive their states’ share of   center representatives undergo extensive train-
                                               federal LIHEAP funds, but they typically        ing about available programs, says Greg Schirm-
                                               delegate to county government agencies or       ers, CenterPoint Energy credit manager.
                                               nonprofit organizations the responsibility          “Like other utilities, we have field collec-
                                               for receiving and reviewing applications        tors who make house calls,” he adds. “They’re
                                               for assistance and actually distributing        also equipped with LIHEAP information, and if
                                               the money. Normally, LIHEAP payments            there are any questions, they can refer people
                                               are made directly to utilities.                 to one of our customer service representatives,
                                                  Besides LIHEAP, many states offer en-        who can talk about it in more detail.”
“We believe it is absolutely essential to increase our    ergy assistance through state            Schirmers believes that while awareness of
nation’s home energy commitment to America’s most         or charitable programs, or           energy assistance programs is fairly high among
vulnerable citizens,” said David Manning, National
grid executive vice president of U.S. external affairs,
                                                          both. Utilities often match con-     utility customers, “one customer group that may
testifying on behalf of AgA at a Nov. 12 hearing of the tributions to nongovernmen-            not know about LIHEAP is those people who
Subcommittee on Healthy Children and Families of          tal energy assistance plans. In      are just entering some financial turbulence.”
the House Committee on Health and Labor.
                                                          fact, “in 2006, utility programs     Schirmers and Bev Lambkins, CenterPoint En-
                                      provided $1.8 billion in assistance to help needy        ergy credit and collections supervisor, help to
                                      families manage their energy bills,” notes AGA           educate this group by meeting with different
                                      President and CEO David N. Parker. “That’s a             social service agencies each year to ensure they
                                      significant amount of support, yet the need con-         have the information their clients need.
                                      tinues to be far greater than utility programs are           Many LIHEAP offices in Minnesota begin re-
                                      able to fulfill despite our best combined efforts.”      ceiving applications Oct. 1, Schirmers says, so
                                                                                               CenterPoint plans its publicity push, which in-
                                                                                               cludes mailings and news releases, around that
      Just the thought of someone caring enough to                                             date. While energy assistance applications are
      help us is what we need. It [LIHeAP] has been a great                                    accepted through May 31, “waiting is not always
         help for me and my three kids because we’re not in the
                                                                                               a good thing to do,” Schirmers says. “LIHEAP is
         cold; we have our lights and gas.
                                                                                               a first-come, first-served program, and in some
                                        —Single mother, entergy customer in Arkansas           years, the money runs out long before May.”
                                                                                                   Of course, LIHEAP doesn’t help only the
                                                                                               cold-weather states. Linda Barnes, manager of
                                      Kevin Kerrigan, manager of public affairs                Entergy Corp.’s low-income customer assistance
                                   for Atmos Energy in Colorado, says that, in his             initiative, notes, “More Americans die every year
                                   state, county agencies notify the utility that a            from heat-related illnesses than from the cold.
                                   customer has applied for LIHEAP assistance                  So we’re struggling to make certain that our
                                   and meets the income requirements. “They ask                states get their fair share of LIHEAP funding.”
                                   us for the customer’s consumption history. It’s a
                                   verification that they’re a customer of ours and
                                   that they’re consuming the amount that they’ve              Championing a Good Cause
                                   stated,” Kerrigan says.                                     Entergy serves customers in Mississippi, Arkan-
                                      If everything checks out, the utility is informed        sas, Louisiana and Texas, all of which are among
                                   that the agency is going to put a “pledge”—                 the 10 poorest states in the nation. “That makes
                                   a promise that funds will be coming—on the                  LIHEAP even more important,” Barnes says.
                                   customer’s account. “They’re telling us to put a               Entergy has a particularly active program in

34       februarY 2008   AMERICAN GAS
                                                                                                     LIHeAP TeSTIMoNIeS PRoVIded BY eNTeRgY CoRP.
support of the fuel assistance program. Entergy’s       LIHEAP funds or take applications for the pro-
“Low Income Champions,” all of whom also have           gram. If a customer calls in and asks for the clos-
other jobs with the utility, are responsible for        est nonprofit that takes LIHEAP applications, we
raising the visibility of fuel assistance programs      can supply that information.”
in each of the four states the utility serves by           Entergy’s efforts on behalf of LIHEAP helped
working with social service agencies and their          earn CEO Wayne Leonard the Sister Pat Kelly
clients, helping Entergy’s communications staff         Achievement Award from
publicize LIHEAP and other sources of funding,          the National Fuel Funds Net-
and even traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby        work, a national organization        [LIHeAP] is crucial to Arkansas
                                                                                             citizens as many of them struggle
for increased LIHEAP appropriations.                    of nonprofits and utilities
                                                                                             to pay their utility bills during this
    “Champions” identify which local agencies           that raises and administers          period of historically high home
have available funds and unmet needs. “They then        charitable energy assistance.        energy costs. Rising energy
work with those nonprofits by, for example, ar-            In accepting the award,         prices are affecting everyone,
ranging for automated phone calls targeted to po-       Leonard said, “It is my great      but low-income consumers
tential LIHEAP recipients,” Barnes says. “The sys-      hope that other energy com-        are especially vulnerable.
tem delivers a recorded message telling customers       panies will accept Entergy’s               —Stephen Copley, president, Arkansas
that LIHEAP funds are available to help with bill       efforts as a personal challenge                  Interfaith Conference and chair,
                                                                                                                Arkansas energy Network
payments and lets them know how to contact the          to serve all customers with
appropriate agency. If no one answers, a message        compassion, dignity and re-
is left with the same information.”                     spect that will inspire the creation of many new
    Entergy also supplies its call centers with plen-   programs and financial investments across the
ty of LIHEAP information. “We have one person           country to assist consumers having difficulty with
who coordinates that, communicating a common            their energy bills.”
message to our call centers,” she says. “We make
sure our customer service representatives have          S. LAWRENCE PAULSoN is a contributing editor to
a bit of background on the availability of fund-        American Gas. He may be reached at lpaulson@
ing and a list of all the agencies that distribute      earthlink.net.



OperaTION GO GreeN                             and carbon sequestration; these new            es to address these issues.
CoNTINUed FRoM PAge 31                         technologies need time to develop. As a           When I was elected NARUC presi-
                                               result, our reliance on natural gas may        dent in November, I challenged our
ports development of diverse generation        continue to grow in the short term.            members to essentially do more with
mixes for utilities that include—but are                                                      less. As Americans, we have been
not limited to—conservation, efficien-         aMerICaN GaS: As you take the reins of         blessed with plentiful energy resources,
cy, nuclear energy, renewables, natural        the presidency at NARUC, what are your         but we need to demonstrate real lead-
gas, clean coal and other resources. As        top priorities for the coming year?            ership as we balance energy demands
Congress considers legislation to limit        COMMISSIONer SMITH: There are                  with environmental needs. In my role
carbon emissions, we must not restrict         many issues facing the regulated utility       as president, and as co-chair of the Na-
our options.                                   industries at the present time, such as        tional Action Plan for Energy Efficien-
    We are concerned about the over-reli-      the need for significant investment in         cy, I will urge both our members and
ance on natural gas to generate electric-      infrastructure, including expansion of         the energy industry as a whole to be
ity. We seem to be in an interim period        the capacity of current facilities and the     innovative and more efficient. We need
of time during which Congress has not          replacement of aging facilities. NARUC         to be good stewards of what we have
removed uncertainty by adopting specif-        is in a position to provide guidance and       available, and we need to be as efficient
ic policies, and gas generation is the only    be a forum for sharing ideas and experi-       as possible. I look forward to working
option after efficiency that can be online     ences and developing sound solutions.          with your members as we address our
when needed.                                   My priority is to enable NARUC to par-         future energy needs.
    It will take more time for some of the     ticipate in creating real, actionable solu-
renewable forms of electricity to devel-       tions to the major problems facing the         StACEy L. BELL is publisher and editor
op and take on a bigger role in our sup-       regulated industries and to assist federal     in chief of American Gas. She may be
ply mix. The same is true for clean coal       and state policymakers in their process-       reached at sbell7@tampabay.rr.com.
                                                                                                        AMERICAN GAS   februarY 2008    35

								
To top