LPPC Logo Press Release

LPPC Pleased with Progress on Electric Restructuring Legislation;
     Tells Bliley It Supports H.R. 2944 Provisions on Private Use and FERC
     Transmission Jurisdiction

For Immediate Release:
     February 11, 2000
     Sharon Soltero
     Communications Task Force
     Phone: (402) 563-5811

LPPC Pleased with Progress on Electric Restructuring Legislation;
Tells Bliley It Supports H.R. 2944 Provisions on Private Use and FERC

Transmission Jurisdiction

    "The LPPC is pleased with the progress made by the Committee to date in developing a bill that fosters competitive electric power markets and enhanced reliability of our electric power system," said Large Public Power Council (LPPC) Chairman T. Graham Edwards in a February 9 letter to House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley (R-VA). Edwards, also the President and CEO of Santee Cooper, lauded provisions of H.R. 2944 that fix outdated private use restrictions and extend limited FERC jurisdiction over public power systems.

    Following up on a previous letter, Edwards provided more detailed comment on H.R. 2944, the "Electricity Competition and Reliability Act." Edwards praised a key provision in H.R. 2944 that fixes outdated private use restrictions on facilities financed with tax-exempt bonds. "The only way LPPC members and customers will be assured participation in a competitive marketplace is if Congress updates private use restrictions that stand to prevent us from competing in an open market or even participating in Regional Transmission Organizations," Edwards said. Edwards had further praise for H.R. 2944's "careful approach" in extending limited FERC transmission jurisdiction over public power systems. "The approach ensures that all market participants will have access to the transmission system on equal terms and conditions," he explained. He added that LPPC believes that the federal government "should not regulate rates of non-profit, governmental entities that are already set by public officials."

    Edwards went on to provide suggestions to improve other aspects of the bill. He asserted that the bill would impose an "unreasonably short" deadline for FERC review of mergers, and "lacks sufficient mechanisms to mitigate market power."

    With respect to Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), Edwards suggested that provisions of the bill that undercut FERC’s authority are unnecessary. "Congress should leave well enough alone, permitting FERC's fully vetted regime to work in and improve the market place." He stated that under H.R. 2944, "FERC would not be able to assure that RTOs seek to accommodate regulatory and legal constraints unique to public power systems." He further pointed out that the bill would permit control of an RTO by an individual market participant or a group with shared interests, contrary to the goal of independent operation of the transmission grid. Finally, Edwards suggested changes to the TVA title designed to more fully address consumer needs in the Tennessee Valley.


The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) is an association of the nation's 21 largest public power utilities. It serves millions of customers in some of the largest and fastest-growing areas of the country and counts some of America's biggest corporations among its customers.

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