NASUCA NEWS-2-25-11 by zhangyun


									              NASUCA NEWS
                          February 25, 2011

Acquard Attends NERC Meeting in Phoenix
Last week NASUCA Executive Director Charles Acquard attended the North American
Reliability Corporation meeting in Phoenix and elected members of NERC's Board of
Trustees. Acquard is a member of the Member Representative Committee representing
small end users. Larry Nordell, from the Montana office, also attended the meeting.
Among those elected to the Board was Roy Thilly, former head of Wisconsin Public
Power. "Roy is an outstanding choice for the Board," Acquard said. "I've known him for
over twenty years and he's always been an advocate for consumers." To check out
what else was done at the meeting, click the link below.
While in Phoenix, Acquard had breakfast with Jodi Jerich, the head of the Arizona
consumer advocate office. In addition to discussing local issues, Acquard and Jerich
learned that they share something in common -- they both are the proud (and tired)
parents of twin boys.

NASUCAns Attend NARUC Winter Meeting
Lead by NASUCA President Mary Healey, a number of NASUCAns attended the
NARUC Winter meeting in Washington last week, including Janine Migden-Ostrander,
J.R. Kelly, Byron Harris, Bryce Freeman, Dave Stippler, Bill Levis and Dave Bergmann.
While in Washington, Migden-Ostrander, Harris, and Acquard met with the new chair of
the Energy and Power Subcommittee Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. The NASUCAns urged
Whitfield to consumer impact of energy legislation and to reach out to NASUCA
members, particularly the Kentucky office. Acquard and Kelly also met with a staffer
from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
For resolutions passed at the meeting and presentations, click below.

NASUCA Headed for Charleston for Mid Year 2012
NASUCA has signed a contract to meet in Charleston, South Carolina, for the 2012 Mid
Year meeting. The meeting will take place in June at the Double Tree Guest Suites in
the historic section of the city, the same place NASUCA stayed when in met in
Charleston ten years ago. Here's a link to the hotel.

Mid Year Meeting 2011
Don't forget, the Mid Year meeting THIS June is in San Antonio. Our hotel -- Omni La
Mansion del Rio -- is right on the River Walk so plan to bring comfortable shoes. The
hotel's website is below.
Already, we have a completed panel. Kudos to Craig and his colleagues for getting this
in so soon and being so creative with the title.

Troubling Texas Two-Step: Hold ‘Em Up, Shake ‘Em Down

The panel will alert cowpokes from other states to two developments in the Lone Star State that the
industry will likely seek to replicate elsewhere. Both developments pose challenges for residential
consumers of competitive electric service (and the second poses challenges to consumers of regulated
electric service as well). First, panelists will discuss a “switch-hold” rule recently adopted by the state
public utility commission, under which some consumers who have an outstanding bill with one company
are prevented from switching to another company, also addressing efforts by consumer groups to seek
rescission of the rule in the state legislature. Second, panelists will discuss the proliferation of charges
on consumer bills, including minimum use fees, early termination fees and connection and reconnection
fees, also addressing what can be done to stop such fees or to better equip consumers to avoid them.


Carol Biedrzycki, Texas ROSE – Ratepayers Organization to Save Energy
Sara Ferris, Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel
Tim Morstad, AARP Texas


Craig Graziano, Office of Consumer Advocate, Iowa Department of Justice

Senators Introduce Transmission Legislation

U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska),
Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last week introduced bipartisan
legislation to protect consumers from footing the bill for energy projects that serve no
benefit for their state or region. Under existing law, the fees associated with connecting
new energy sources to the electric grid are paid by the communities that benefit. But a
proposed new rule by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to be
finalized this spring, would give FERC sweeping authority to broadly spread the
associated costs to customers outside of the area immediately serviced by the new
transmission lines. The Electric Transmission Customer Protection Act would prevent
this scenario by requiring FERC to use a “measurable reliability or economic benefit”
standard when distributing transmission costs across state lines. To see the text and
summary of the bill, click below.

National Broadband Map Available
The National Broadband Map -- the first public, searchable nationwide map of
broadband Internet availability – now available at, is an
unprecedented searchable database of information on high-speed Internet access. The
Map was released this week along with the results of a new nationwide survey on
broadband adoption. The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications
and Information Administration (NTIA) created the National Broadband Map in
collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), using data that
each state, territory and the District of Columbia (or their designees) collected from
broadband providers or other data sources. The data will support efforts to expand
broadband access and adoption in communities at risk of being left behind in the 21st
century economy and help businesses and consumers seeking information on their
high-speed Internet options.

For more information, please see the link to the FCC blog entry by Ann Neville of NTIA
as well as the link to the press release on the National Broadband Map below:

Senate House Committees Set
The Senate and House Committees dealing with energy and telecommunications issues
have been set. Check out links below to see who they are and if your state is
represented on these important committees. If they are, please get to know these
members so the consumer voice will be heard in Washington.

Senate Energy Committee
Senate Commerce Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee (Republicans) (Democrats)

CFA Calls on Netflix to Pay for Universal Service

Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), says
Netflix should have to pay into the Universal Service Fund. "The Internet is not an infant
industry anymore. It can certainly bear the burden of making sure that wires and the
communications mediums are there," Cooper said. To see the entire article from the
Hill, click below.

House Dems call for climate science hearings amid GOP
efforts to block EPA climate rules
Two key House Democrats called on Republicans Thursday to hold a hearing on the
latest climate science amid efforts by the GOP to block the Environmental Protection
Agency’s climate authority. In a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and
Commerce Committee, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) pointed
to two new studies that link climate change to extreme weather. “[I]t is imperative that
the Committee have an understanding of the science of climate change and the impact
carbon pollution may be having on the weather in the United States and abroad. We
cannot legislate wisely if we do not know what we are doing,” said the lawmakers in the
letter. Waxman and Rush said it would be “irresponsible” for Republicans to ignore the
new research and move forward in their efforts to permanently block the EPA from
regulating greenhouse gas emissions. To see a copy of their letter, click below.

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