National Community Action Foundation Conference, White Plains, NY
May 6, 2002
Although the moving train that was electric and gas industry restructuring has slowed considerably since California and Enron imploded, there is some momentum yet on the federal level, and there are still many opportunities on the state level for advocates to have an impact on the regulatory process. This primer describes how.
Presented at the National Community Action Foundation conference, with support from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Jun 9, 2002
What utility regulatory commisions need in order to approve utility low-income efficiency programs that coordinate with DOE weatherization.
Interdisciplinary Cluster on Energy Systems, Equity and Vulnerability (IncluESEV) (Kings College London, Durham University, Lancaster University) Workshop, Towards a transatlantic dialogue on energy efficiency, energy poverty and fairness in climate pol
Oct 3, 2011
Led by the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), Massachusetts has established a broad safety net of energy services and protections for its low-income residents.
World Resources Institute et al.: Forum on Good Governance, Clean Energy and Regulation (Singapore)
Mar 17, 2008
This study shows how both environmental and social welfare principles were advanced in the context of an energy regulatory process in a poor US southern state. Electric power in the southern US has been relatively inexpensive for about 70 years, so policymakers have had very little motivation to develop cheaper alternatives such as energy efficiency. With the possible exception of biomass, there is very little native renewable energy in the South that is economic. Further, clean energy and low-income supports have been relatively low political priorities over the years. However, over the past decade, with marketization of the natural gas and electricity industries throughout much of the nation, power costs even in the South have risen and become less affordable for low-income and other customers. At the same time, environmental concerns have led utilities and policy-makers to look for more sustainable resources than the dirty coal and expensive gas typically used to generate much of the electricity in the South. Thus, the stage was set for a significant policy shift in Arkansas in 2006 and 2007. . . .
National Community Action Foundation Conference
St. Petersburg, Florida
Oct 26, 2006
A slide presentation of the basics that regulatory commissions need from consumer advocates in order to approve programs to assist low-income consumers and how advocates can meet those needs.
Low-Income Advocates Peer Exchange, Scottsdale, Arizona
Oct 22, 2004
Strategies and tactics for low-income advocates, using commodity procurement (Default Service, cost of fuel/fuel adjustment clause, portfolio management) as a case study. A two-page outline.
Northeast Climate Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Feb 21, 2004
Deregulation has not advanced efficiency or renewable initiatives and has had adverse consequences for consumers, including high and volatile prices, power shortages, and consumer frauds.
How regulation advances both efficiency and renewables and how citizens can participate in that public process.
National Community Action Foundation, Don CeSar Hotel, St. Pete Beach, Florida, 9 AM.
Oct 28, 2003
Skills and materials needed to stay involved when rates and/or regulations governing utilities are being reviewed. Participants heard about:
· The different types of regulatory procedures where your leveraging proposals can be considered;
What you need to do to get in to the debate;
How to build partnerships or coalitions; and,
The best ideas for the design of utility affordability programs.
BY GREG PALAST, JERROLD OPPENHEIM, AND THEO MACGREGOR
Pluto Press, London and Virginia
WINNER OF ACLU UPTON SINCLAIR AWARD
Feb 1, 2003
To order your copy, click here
Click on document to read Introduction. Based on work for the United Nations by Greg Palast, Jerrold Oppenheim, and Theo MacGregor -- the first step-by-step guide to the way that public services are regulated in the US. The book examines what's right with the traditional American regulatory system, why regulation elsewhere has failed, and what can be done to fix it. It explains how decisions are made by public debate in a public forum. Profits and investments of private companies are capped, and companies are forced to reduce prices for the poor, fund environmental investments, and open themselves to financial inspection. Open this page to read the book's Introduction. E-mail us to order your copy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD, BY HON. CARL WOOD
DEMOCRACY AND REGULATION: AN INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER I. SECRECY, DEMOCRACY AND REGULATION
CHAPTER II. REGULATING IN PUBLIC
CHAPTER III. COMPETITION AS SUBSTITUTE FOR REGULATION? BRITAIN TO CALIFORNIA
CHAPTER IV. RE-REGULATION IS NOT DEREGULATION
CHAPTER V. THE OPEN REGULATORY PROCESS: STEP-BY-STEP
CHAPTER VI. SOCIAL PRICING
CHAPTER VII. ISSUES THAT ARE PUBLICLY DECIDED
CHAPTER VIII. AN ALTERNATIVE: DEMOCRATIC NEGOTIATIONS
CHAPTER IX. BE THERE: A GUIDE TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
CHAPTER X. A HISTORY OF DEMOCRATIC UTILITY REGULATION IN THE US
CHAPTER XI. REGULATING THE MULTINATIONAL UTILITY
CHAPTER XII. FAILED EXPERIMENTS IN THE UK AND THE US
CHAPTER XIII. THE BIGGEST FAILURES: CALIFORNIA AND ENRON
CHAPTER XIV. INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY DEVELOPING AND DEVELOPED COUNTRIES
CHAPTER XV. CONCLUSION
CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER CARL WOOD, in the Foreword: "Palast, Oppenheim and MacGregor have drawn on a vast pool of practical experience, wide international contacts and profoundly democratic motivation to examine and explain the U.S. utility regulatory system as a model for an epoch which is characterized worldwide by the sudden and often unconsidered privatisation of essential utility services previously owned and operated (however well or poorly) for the public good."
R. A. MILLER, WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY in CHOICE: This volume discusses governmental regulation of public utilities--firms supplying electricity, gas, telephones, and water. Regulation works best, the authors argue, when regulators adhere to the democratic process: public access to information, public participation in setting prices. The US democratic process is generally superior to that elsewhere, e.g., in South Africa, India, Peru, the UK, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, and other countries. The authors (an economist-reporter, a lawyer, and a regulator) have a wealth of experience in utility regulation, and it is evident on every page. The recent electricity crisis in California (and Enron's participation) receives considerable attention. Throughout the book the democratic process receives most of the credit or blame. Unfortunately, the economic analysis is either weak or incomplete (e.g., no mention of the contribution to the California electricity crisis of either the drought in the Pacific Northwest or the prohibition of forward contracts). The authors' detailed description of the US utility regulatory system will be especially useful to those new to the topic. A companion source of information to this book is a Web site containing updates and additional documentation. Summing Up: Recommended. Public and undergraduate library collections."
MEG POWER, NATIONAL COMMUNITY ACTION FOUNDATION: "This masterpiece suggests the way the whole world should see the amazing system of utility governance we Americans take for granted. This book is required reading for anyone committed to maximum feasible participation of those directly affected by public policy."
ENTERGY CORP. STRATEGIC PLANNING MANAGER BENGT JARLSJO: Very informative, unique, and uplifting. I believe that every person, including regulators, environmentalists, consultants, and employees, working to implement new projects, rates, and programs for regulated companies should consider DEMOCRACY AND REGULATION required reading.
ICELAND CONFEDERATION OF STATE AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES (BSRB) OFFICIAL ANNA ATLADOTTIR: "Your book is a tremendous help in my work as the Icelandic member Of The Standing Committee on Public Utilities of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU). Thank you for setting forth complicated issues in such a way that ordinary people are able to understand them."
NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER: "DEMOCRACY AND REGULATION is a valuable book for those who believe in regulating utilities in the public interest, filled with useful data, tables and ample footnotes."
EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE UNIONS (EPSU) recommends the book as a valuable contribution to what will inevitably become the new battleground in Europes liberalised energy markets: how to control powerful profit maximising, often transnational, energy companies, ensuring they deliver a reliable and affordable public service. Competition is not the answer but democratic regulation is.
NEW HAMPSHIRE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER NANCY BROCKWAY: "If you have no other books on public utilities, you should have this one. Palast, Oppenheim and MacGregor provide a timely and thoroughly documented analysis of the necessary role of the public in overseeing provision of electricity, gas and other utility services in a free market society. DEMOCRACY AND REGULATION is a timely reminder that these essential services cannot simply be left to the invisible hand of the market, or worse to the inscrutable hand of the back-room deal."
Sep 28, 2002
Labor,consumer groups, environmentalists, and low-income advocates come together to work to restore just and reasonable electricity rates. Click on document for the Cobnference Agenda.