Examining EPAct 2005: A Prospective Look at the Changing Regulatory Approach of the FERC

By Curlee, Heather | Washington and Lee Law Review, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Examining EPAct 2005: A Prospective Look at the Changing Regulatory Approach of the FERC


Curlee, Heather, Washington and Lee Law Review


I. Introduction

"This is an issue about the future. It is an issue that affects our children . . . it is an issue about the economy [and] security."1 High gasoline prices, high heating bills, and questions about foreign oil dependence have pushed the energy industry to the forefront of the political scene.2 On August 8, 2005 Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005)3 to address these concerns and plan for America's energy future. In the 1,700 pages of EPAct 2005, Congress drastically changed the electric utility regulatory regime, and this new regulatory regime will play a large role in the achievement of the goals of EPAct 2005.4

The prior electric utility regulatory regime was established by the 1935 Public Utility Act (1935 Act).5 Through two titles the 1935 Act created parallel tracks of regulation.6 Title I, the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), directed the securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to simplify, restructure, and regulate electric utility holding companies.7 Title II amended the Federal Power Act (FPA) and gave the Federal Power Commission (now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-FERC) the power to oversee interstate wholesale sales of power.8 The SEC and the FERC have regulated on these parallel tracks for the past seventy years.9 EPAct 2005 repeals PUHCA, and creates a unified track of regulation, which will shape the future of the electric utility industry.10

The FERC is now the sole electric utility regulatory commission, and its regulatory behavior has the potential either to hinder or advance the mission of EPAct 2005.11 Regulatory commissions develop unique regulatory personalities, and a commission's regulatory personality determines the characteristics of the resulting regulatory environment.12 The 1935 Act, combined with the history and tradition of the respective commissions, influenced the development of two distinct regulatory commissions.13 In administering the 1935 Act, the FERC and the SEC formed two distinct regulatory personalities and produced extremely different regulatory environments.14 The SEC, using a proactive and comprehensive approach to regulation, produced an efficient and stable regulatory environment.15 In contrast, the FERC became a reactive agency characterized by fragmented policies, producing an inefficient and unstable regulatory environment.16 EPAct 2005 anticipates great developments and growth in the energy industry. It will be difficult to achieve these goals without a stable, predictable, and efficient electric utility regulatory environment.17

EPAct 2005 imposes significant changes in the electric utility regulatory regime, and these changes provide the FERC with the opportunity to reform its regulatory personality.18 If the FERC looks to the sec as a regulatory role model and adopts a proactive and comprehensive approach to regulation, a stable and efficient regulatory environment will likely result, making the goals of EPAct 2005 readily achievable.19 Recent FERC actions indicate that the FERC is embracing new patterns of regulation, but old habits die hard.20 Although recent actions indicate a change in the FERC's regulatory approach, the next few years will be crucial in determining whether the FERC is embracing its new mission or regressing to familiar patterns.21 It will be difficult to achieve the goals of EPAct 2005 unless the FERC adopts a new regulatory personality.

This Note focuses on the interplay between the regulatory personality of a commission and the resulting regulatory environment, specifically the degree to which the FERC's regulatory personality will hinder or advance the goals of EPAct 2005. In Part II, this Note describes the historical background and founding principles of the electric utility regulatory commissions and discusses formation of the sec and the FERC's foundational principles. Part III illustrates how the regulatory personalities of the SEC and the FERC have shaped electricity regulation and discusses the connection between regulatory environments and the achievement of Congressional goals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Examining EPAct 2005: A Prospective Look at the Changing Regulatory Approach of the FERC
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.