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April 6, 2010

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State Regulatory Relations

Registration Now Open for NARUC Summer Meetings

NARUC will hold its Summer Meetings July 18–21 at the Convention Center in Sacramento, Calif.

Register now to guarantee a hotel room and save on early-bird registration fees. Hot topics of the meeting will include:

  • Wall Street, Finance, and Climate Change
    A special Saturday, July 17, workshop bringing in the top financial minds to discuss the challenges state regulators will face if Congress puts a price on carbon emissions
  • Climate Policy
    The NARUC Task Force on Climate Policy will sponsor a General Session on congressional and White House proposals to reduce carbon emissions and how it will impact state regulators

Because all NARUC meetings will take place in the Sacramento Convention Center, NARUC has secured rooms at a discounted rate at two nearby hotels: the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Both hotels are just steps away from the Convention Center, along with the state capital building and the city’s other attractions.

For more information, please click here.


NARUC Supports Water Provisions in Jobs Bill to Remove Investment Barriers

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners released the following statement from NARUC President David Coen of Vermont and Committee on Water Chairman John "Butch" Howard of South Carolina regarding the water provisions in the House-approved Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2010:

“With a recognized need to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure, we applaud the House for taking this action. The bill removes existing barriers that prevent private water utilities from fully utilizing tax-exempt private activity bonds for financing water and wastewater projects. By removing these State volume caps, water companies will have better access to capital so they can fund past-due upgrades to the water infrastructure. This will keep consumer rates reasonable while also letting the utilities get the financing they need.

Private activity bonds are among the most useful avenues for these utilities to fund long-term infrastructure projects. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Government Accountability Office estimate that water utilities will need billions to meet safe drinking water and sanitation standards over the next 20 years. We are hopeful this language will make it easier for these utilities to move forward.”

The NARUC statement applies solely to the water provisions and no other aspects of the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Act.


Mark Your Calendars for the 31st Annual Western NARUC Utility Rate School

The NARUC Utility Rate School provides hands-on training presented by the NARUC Committee on Water.

The basics of utility ratemaking are presented by program faculty members from state public utility commissions; utility companies; and the legal, consulting and academic communities. Participants work in teams to learn the fundamentals of establishing revenue requirements and setting rates by working through a hypothetical “mock” water utility rate case. The program also provides insight into current issues affecting the water industry and other public utilities.

Participants learn the fundamentals of the utility rate-setting process, including how to establish revenue requirements and the basic concepts of rate design.

The school will be held May 10–14, 2010, in San Diego, Calif., at the Coronado Island Marriott.

For more information, including registration, please click here.


NARUC Prepares Regional Conferences

NARUC regional meetings are right around the corner. Mark your calendars now to attend these important regional events:

The New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners will meet May 16–18, 2010, in Brewster, Mass.

The Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) will meet June 6–9, 2010, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners will meet June 12–16, 2010, at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, Calif.

The Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC) will meet June 13–16, 2010, at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala.

The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will meet June 27 – 30, 2010 at the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Penn.