Senate Banking Committee to vote on PUHCA repeal

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Apr. 23, 2001 — The Senate Banking Committee Tuesday is scheduled to consider repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), which controls corporate structure, diversification, and affiliate transactions in the utility industry.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has been one of the strongest and most vocal supporters of the effort to rescind PUHCA. Buffett made his first utility acquisition through Berkshire Hathaway last year, buying MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.

If the bill passes, it will be up to Sen. Trent Lott, the majority leader to schedule a vote by the full Senate. However, industry sources Monday said prospects for markup of a stand alone bill are dimming. Some observers believe the proposal stands a better chance in an omnibus bill that incorporates repeal of PUHCA as well as other reform measures the industry is seeking.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) introduced SB. 206, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2001, Jan. 31. Repeal now on a stand-alone basis will only make current electricity problems worse, said Alan H. Richardson, CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA).

Richardson said repeal should be part of a broader electricity bill that would promote "real" wholesale competition in the electric utility industry. An APPA study found the number of registered utility holding companies has more than doubled in the past 9 years, expanding to 30 from 14 since 1992. The 30 registered holding companies own 70 electric utilities that serve 32% of all electricity customers.

When measured by number of electric customers, 13 of the 25 largest utilities, including all affiliates and subsidiaries, are registered holding companies, APPA said.

SB. 206 would repeal key features of PUHCA, eliminating geographic limitations on registered holding companies, and changing access to company books and records. Richardson claimed the bills would shift the consumer watchdog role from the federal government to the states, which are "just not equipped to deal with interstate issues."

PUHCA was enacted in 1935 to simplify the structure of the electric utility industry and prevent consumer and stockholder abuses. Utility holding companies subject to PUHCA must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is charged with enforcing PUHCA provisions. Utilities owned by a registered holding company must be part of a single integrated system.

Utility holding companies can receive an exemption from PUHCA if they serve customers in only one state or only in states that are contiguous to the holding company's home state. The act limits diversification activities and governs transactions between affiliate companies.

In addition to the 30 registered holding companies, there are another 37 exempt holding companies that own 52 electric utilities serving an additional 35% of the nation's electricity customers, APPA said.

Sponsored by FLSmidth
Recommend this article Recommend this article () You recommended this article You recommended this article ()
Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Latest News

Shutterstock coal production trucks

Weekly Coal Production

The Weekly Coal Production shows how much coal is being produced across the U.S.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Weekly Economic Indicators financial business

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Economic Indicators

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers a glimpse into how the markets are doing domestical...

Kvaerner awarded contract for gas-fired power plant in Delaware

Kvaerner North American Construction Inc. and its joint venture partner, Parsons Brinckerhoff...

Canadian Solar purchases two solar projects

Canadian Solar Inc. has acquired a majority interest in two utility-scale solar power project...

Operators Restart Unit 2 at PPL Susquehanna

Unit 2 at the PPL Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa. resumed generating electr...

Settlement agreement limits cost recovery at Edwardsport

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Dec. 27 modified and approved a settlemen...

Toshiba in talks to sell portion of Westinghouse nuclear unit

Toshiba Corp is in talks  to sell up to 16% of its stake in the Westinghouse Electric Co...

Utah nixes nuclear waste storage facility

Plans to park radioactive waste at a storage facility in Utah have been officially called off.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Current Magazine Issue

Volume 117, Issue 8

Buyers Guide Company Listings

CAS DataLoggers

Manufacturer of data acquisition and control systems including high performance real-time systems. For use in data acquisition, test and control applications featuring microsecond precision.

Krishnan & Associates

Krishnan & Associates is a specialized consulting firm that provides marketing, market analysis, executive recruitment, and merger and acquisition services to the power, infrastructure, and coal mining industries.

North American Dismantling Corp

Established in 1984, North American Dismantling Corp is a demolition/dismantling contractor specializing in heavy industrial demolition, selective demolition, remediation, plant stripouts, plant decommissioning, emergency response, and turnkey acquisitions.

Contec Systems

Contec Systems develops continuous emission monitoring (CEMS), user-configurable, Windows-based data acquisition software systems (DAHS) offered to CEMS integrators, OEMs, and end users.

Power Industry Wire News

Coronado Midstream LLC Announces Plans to Construct New Natural Gas Processing Facility in North Midland Basin

Coronado Midstream LLC Announces Plans to Construct New Natural Gas Processing Facility...

Algae Biomass Organization Recognizes Six Students With Young Algae Researcher Awards at Algae Biomass Summit

Algae Biomass Organization Recognizes Six Students With Young Algae Researcher Awards a...

Perma-Fix Environmental Services Announces $4.5 Million Service Contract

Perma-Fix Environmental Services Announces $4.5 Million Service Contract

MISO Confirms Benefits of MVP Projects

MISO Confirms Benefits of MVP Projects

Magnum Hunter Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on Series C Preferred Stock, Series D Preferred Stock and Series E Preferred Stock

Magnum Hunter Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on Series C Preferred Stock, Ser...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>