Publications

    Bradford, Peter. “Testimony Before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Nuclear Safety - Renewal of the Price Anderson Act.” In, 2002.Abstract
    Bradford, Peter (Regulatory Assistance Project). Testimony Before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Nuclear Safety - Renewal of the Price Anderson Act. 23 January 2002. Testimony, analysis, 4 pages.
    Hirst, Eric. Real-Time Balancing Operations and Markets: Key to Competitive Wholesale Electricity Markets. FERC. FERC, 2001.Abstract
    Electricity production and consumption must occur at essentially the same time. Therefore, real-time (minute-to-minute) operations and the associated markets and prices are essential ingredients of a competitive wholesale electricity industry. In addition, these intrahour markets are the foundation of all forward markets and contracts, including hour- and day-ahead markets, monthly futures, and bilateral contracts. Finally, these intrahour operations maintain system reliability by ensuring that enough and the right kinds of supply and demand resources are available when needed. Because of various load, generation, and transmission factors, balancing generation to load on a minute-tominute basis is complicated. Loads are volatile, both from hour to hour and from minute to minute during the morning rampup and evening dropoff. Generators differ substantially in their costs of electricity production. In addition, generators have various idiosyncratic characteristics, such as maximum and minimum output levels and maximum ramprates, that limit their ability to respond rapidly to changes in system load or generation. Finally, transmission characteristics affect the real-time balancing function because of congestion and sudden transmission outages. These factors can lead to dramatic and rapid changes in electricity prices, including occasional negative prices when generators pay someone to take their output.
    Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory. 18 CFR Part 35. Order No. 2000, Regional Transmission Organizations, 2000.Abstract

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is amending its regulations under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to advance the formation of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs). The regulations require that each public utility that owns, operates, or controls facilities for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce make certain filings with respect to forming and participating in an RTO. The Commission also codifies minimum characteristics and functions that a transmission entity must satisfy in order to be considered an RTO. The Commission's goal is to promote efficiency in wholesale electricity markets and to ensure that electricity consumers pay the lowest price possible for reliable service.

    Brown, Ashley. “Changes in the Electricity Industry Since the Passage of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.” In, 1994.Abstract

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The passage of the Energy Policy Act in 1992 ushered in a new competitive era in the U.S. electricity industry. The task ahead for both state and federal regulators is to make the regulatory changes that are a necessary part of these changes in the industry in a coherent fashion.

    • There is no way to achieve coherence in transmission policy without formal cooperation between federal and state regulators. Congress should urge these regulatory bodies to begin this process, in order to address issues of transmission pricing, unbundling of services, siting, access, and planning.
    • Who should bear the risks of a transition to a more competitive industry? This is clearly a question of policy, and should be treated as such. As a matter of policy, the jurisdiction which is responsible for creating stranded assets should be the one which deals with its consequences. I applaud the California and Michigan commissions for dealing with this issue explicitly as part of their proposals. The FERC has done the same in its recent NOPR, but has left unclear the issue of possible preemption of state jurisdiction.
    • Registered holding companies are currently shielded from competition by the ability to pick the regulatory forum to which they turn for decisions, and by judicial determinations which insulate self-dealing from market forces. The proposed "fix" to the Ohio Power case, now before the Congress, is a step in the right direction. However, there are still gaps and overlaps between federal and state jurisdictions that need to be addressed. In order to supervise transactions involving registered holding companies, the FERC and state PUCs need to work together. If the Congress is unwilling to codify the Pike County doctrine, it should urge the FERC to adopt it explicitly as a formal doctrine of regulatory federalism, andmake rulings that are consistent with multiple layers of jurisdiction.

    The Congress must encourage the FERC and the state commissions to exercise statesmanship on these issues, rather than continuing to engage in bureaucratic turf battles.

    Brown, Ashley. “Some Thoughts on State-Federal Jurisdictional Issues in Transmission, and the Transition to a Competitive Electricity Market.” In, 1994.Abstract
    The debate on the issue of pricing transmission services, indeed transmission policy in
    general, is characterized by a massive cognitive dissonance. FERC issues a lengthy series of
    significant questions about just about everything a federal regulator would ever want to know about
    transmission, except for how they relate to the other set of regulators who have so much to say
    about the grid. Other than a passing reference, that question did not get asked at all. Thus we are
    involved in a debate where most of the discussion takes place in a forum that is responsible for
    significantly less than half the revenue that's derived from transmission. Moreover, the regulators
    that are responsible for the bulk of transmission revenues set them as part of bundled retail rates
    and rarely, if ever, think about transmission in discrete terms. Accordingly, we not only have
    cognitive dissonance as to the forum and the substance, but we have decision-makers making critical
    decisions who simply do not think about what their peers may be doing, except to the extent that
    state regulators worry about FERC preemption of their authority, and FERC fears that state
    regulators are actually monopolists who intend to impede all competition. Beyond that, there is
    not much dialogue. Given this state of affairs, it seems unlikely that coherent transmission policies
    will emerge in the absence of a more formal system of cooperation.

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