Large customers support FERC’s efforts to establish common rules for electricity markets

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2002 — The Coalition of Midwest Transmission Customers, the PJM Industrial Customer Coalition, and the NEPOOL Industrial Customer Coalition, groups comprised of large commercial and industrial customers with facilities in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England, respectively, announced their general support for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) plans to enable effective wholesale competition through the establishment of market standards.

FERC’s issuance of a Standard Market Design Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SMD NOPR) for wholesale power markets is an important step in the prolonged process of providing customers with the price and service benefits of dynamically efficient electric markets. SMD seeks to improve service reliability, make markets work for customers, send price signals that will encourage appropriate investment in infrastructure, and constructively engage customers’ demand response.

The customer groups, which comprise more than 50 large corporations and numerous energy-consuming facilities throughout the Nation, applauded the Commission’s strategy to provide much needed regulatory certainty and remedy market power problems in wholesale power markets.

“We are pleased with the Commission’s proposal to implement common rules for all aspects of wholesale power markets in an integrated manner, including provisions that recognize the critical role that customers must play in achieving a dynamically efficient market,” said David Kleppinger, an attorney with McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC who serves as counsel to the PJM Industrial Customer Coalition.

“While we are optimistic about the substance and direction of FERC’s efforts to make markets work, there remain a significant number of design and implementation tasks that must be completed successfully before customers can begin to realize the benefits that FERC and other policymakers have attributed to effective wholesale competition,” said Sam Randazzo, a McNees attorney who is counsel to the Coalition of Midwest Transmission Customers and the Industrial Energy Users-Ohio.

“The history associated with this effort suggests that customers must remain actively engaged in FERC and stakeholder processes to manage the price and reliability risks created by the unduly discriminatory and anticompetitive conduct outlined in the NOPR,” said Bob Weishaar, a McNees attorney who is counsel to the NEPOOL Industrial Customer Coalition.

“Thankfully, the FERC’s bipartisan leadership team understands the need for urgent attention that has been missing from the federal government’s performance on energy price and reliability issues, and we look forward to continuing to work with the FERC as the proposed rules proceed to a Final Rule later this year,” added Kleppinger.

SOURCE: PJM Industrial Customer Coalition

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