Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Update. Steven D. Hunt, CPA Office of Enforcement, Division of Financial Regulation Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance Lexington, Kentucky. Disclaimer.
Steven D. Hunt, CPA
Office of Enforcement, Division of Financial Regulation
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance
The views and comments presented are my own and do not represent, nor are they to be interpreted to represent the views, comments, or positions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Named chairman of the Commission by President George W. Bush effective July 9, 2005, after having served as Commissioner since November 20, 2003.
As Chairman, Kelliher is chief executive of the agency. In that role, he directs management of the agency’s 1,300 staff and its $260 million budget towards the pursuit of the agency’s five core missions: economic regulation, energy infrastructure, safety, reliability, and enforcement.
Education: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S., 1983; American University Washington College of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 1994.
Suedeen G. Kelly is a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, confirmed to a term that expires June 30, 2009.
Previously she was a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she taught energy law, public utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process. She also worked with the law firm of Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk in Albuquerque from 2000 through 2003.
In 2000, Ms. Kelly served as counsel to the California Independent System Operator. In 1999, she worked as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman.
She received a B.A. With Distinction in Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School. She is admitted to the bars of New Mexico and the District of Columbia.
Commissioner Philip D. Moeller was nominated by President Bush, and sworn into office on July 24, 2006, by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, for a term expiring June 30, 2010.
From 1997 through 2000, Mr. Moeller served as an energy policy advisor to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (R-Washington) where he worked on electricity policy, electric system reliability, hydropower, energy efficiency, nuclear waste, energy and water appropriations and other energy legislation.
Prior to joining Senator Gorton’s staff, he served as the Staff Coordinator for the Washington State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, where he was responsible for a wide range of policy areas that included energy, telecommunications, conservation, water, and nuclear waste.
Mr. Moeller received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.
Marc Spitzer was nominated by President Bush to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term expiring June 30, 2011.
Mr. Spitzer was elected in 2000 to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and in 2002 was elected ACC Chairman by his colleagues.
As ACC Chairman, he focused on policies encouraging expansion of natural gas infrastructure, specifically distribution and storage; creating a demand side management policy; enhancing the ACC’s renewables standard; and advancing consumer privacy concerns in telecommunications. As ACC Chairman, he established a legacy of balancing competing interests, while ensuring Arizonans receive safe, economical and reliable utility services.
After graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he attended the University of Michigan School of Law.
Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff was nominated by President Bush, and sworn into office on July 31, 2006, by U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Recently re-appointed to a second term expiring June 30, 2013.
Commissioner Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 30 years experience in the field. Before joining FERC, he was in private practice and focused exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation.
Served two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. While serving in that role, Commissioner Wellinghoff represented Nevada’s utility consumers before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the FERC, and in appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court. While Consumer Advocate, he authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute.
Education: Antioch School of Law, Washington, D.C., JD, 1975; Howard University, Washington, D.C., M.A.T., Mathematics, 1972; and University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, BS, Mathematics, 1971.
Purpose of Form 1
Provide basic financial and operational information to allow the Commission, customers, and competitors to monitor a utility’s rates for jurisdictional services
Provide information needed to perform a preliminary rate assessment and determine whether a complaint may be warranted
Purpose of NOPR:
To improve the forms, reports, and statements to provide, in fuller detail, the information the Commission needs to carry out its responsibilities to ensure that rates are J&R, and to provide others the information they need to assess the justness and reasonableness of electric rates
Effective Date - Calendar year 2009
First report containing changes in this Final Rule will be in the Form 3-Q, due in May 2009
NOPR – Form 1 filers should provide explanatory information when formula rate inputs differ from Form 1 reported amounts
Final Rule – Adopted proposed change
Only pertains to formula rates for which no informational filings are required to be regularly submitted
Explanation must be in a footnote on the same page, line, and column where the specific data is reported
Filing Thresholds for Form 1
Eliminate filing requirement for utilities that are not subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction, but make sales that meet or exceed the threshold for meeting the Commission’s Forms 1 and 3-Q reporting requirements
Requested comments on whether to revise definitions for major and nonmajor utilities
Eliminated filing requirement for non-jurisdictional entities
No change to definition of major and nonmajor utilities
NOPR - Add Page 429 (Transactions with Associated (Affiliated) Companies)
Description of the good or service charged or credited
Name of the associated company
FERC account charged or credited
Amount charged or credited
Final Rule – Add Page 429
$250,000 threshold for reporting individual transactions
All affiliate/associate company non-power goods & services transactions
CPA Certification for a Non-Calendar Fiscal Year
NOPR - Utility may file Form 1 (unaudited) each April and file a certified set of financial statements at end of fiscal year with CPA Certification
Final Rule – Adopts NOPR proposal
Companies must request authority to file the independent accountant certification based on their fiscal year information
Certification must be filed not later than 150 days after the end of their fiscal year
“Increases to Threshold Reporting Levels
Page 216 (Construction Work in Progress) – Report projects with balances > $1 million
Pages 232, 233, 269 & 278 (Other Regulatory Assets, Misc. Deferred Debits, Other Deferred Credits & Other Regulatory Liabilities) – Raise the balance limit for grouping items to $100,000
Page 352 & 253 (Research & Development) – Raise the cost of R&D items to be listed to $50,000
Final Rule – Adopts proposed changes from the NOPR
“Other Revenues” (Pages 300-301)
NOPR - Revenues not otherwise specified on Pages 328-300 must be provided in a footnote to Page 300
Final Rule – Adopts proposal from NOPR
Retaining Form 3-Q
Executive Officer’s Salaries
Reporting Transmission Line Data (Pages 422-425)
Docket No. RM07-9-000, Order No. 710
Revisions to Forms, Statements, and Reporting Requirements for Natural Gas Pipelines
NOPR Issued September 20, 2007
Final Rule Issued March 21, 2008
Effective Date – January 1, 2008
First quarter 2009 Form 3-Q
Calendar year 2008 Form 2 and 2-A
Purpose of Rulemaking:
To expand & update the forms to reflect current market and cost information relevant to pipelines and their customers
To provide, in greater detail, information the Commission needs to carry out its regulatory responsibilities
To provide pipeline customers the information they need to assess the justness and reasonableness of pipeline rates
Requires additional information on costs and revenues related to the disposition of shipper-supplied gas, affiliate transactions, discounted and negotiated rate services, and deferred income taxes and state tax issues
Eliminated the FERC Form No. 11
Request for Rehearing and Clarification:
Other Gas Revenues (Page 308)
Final Rule: Revised Page 308 to provide more detail regarding revenues recorded in Account 495 (Other Gas Revenues) and eliminated a $250,000 threshold
Rehearing Request: Reinstate the $250,000 minimum threshold contained in the instructions to Page 308 prior the revisions of the form
Determination: Rehearing request granted
Request for Rehearing and Clarification:
Final Rule: Added two new schedules to require detailed information regarding the acquisition and disposition of shipper-supplied gas
Declined to adopt additional informational requirements related to shipper-supplied gas proposed by commenters to the NOPR
New schedules should be broken down by function and include, by function, fuel that has been waived, discounted, or reduced as part of a negotiated rate
Rehearing Request: Adopt additional requirements
Determination: Rehearing request denied
Request for Rehearing and Clarification:
Reinstatement of Periodic Rate Filing Requirement
Final Rule: Declined a request to reinstate a periodic rate-refiling requirement
Rehearing Request: Final Rule did not address its proposal to reinstate periodic rate filings as a condition to issuance of a blanket certificate for open access transportation service under Part 284
Determination: Rehearing request denied
Commission may not compromise the limits of section 5 of the NGA on the Commission’s power to revise rates
Interpretive Order Modifying No-Action Letter Process and Reviewing Other Mechanisms for Obtaining Guidance
Docket No. PL08-2-000, Issued May 15, 2008
Expansion of No-Action Letter Process
Mechanism for Obtaining Commission and Staff Guidance
Petition for Declaratory Order
No-Action Letter Process
General Counsel Option Letters
Interpretive Order, continued
Mechanism for Obtaining Commission and Staff Guidance, continued
Meetings, Commpliance Help Desk Inquiries, and Other Informal Contacts
Guidance on the Application of Regulations and Orders
Docket No. PL08-3-000, Issued May 15, 2008
Builds on 2005 enforcement policy statement by providing further guidance on factors the Commission considers in its enforcement decisions
Provides a detailed picture of the Commission’s investigative process (open, closed, with or w/o sanctions)
Provides the factors that are considered in determining whether, and how much of, a penalty is appropriate
Annual statistical report of investigations and audits for the proceeding year
Enforcement Actions Enforcement of Statutes, Regulations, and Orders
Docket No. RM08-8-000, Issued May 15, 2008
Clarify rules governing ex parte contacts and separation of functions as they apply to proceedings arising out of investigations initiated under Part 1b of the Commissions regulations
Clarify regulations governing intervention to specify intervention is not permitted as a matter of right in proceedings arising from Part 1b investigations
Enforcement Actions Ex Parte Contacts and Separation of Functions
Docket No. RM08-10-000, Issued May 15, 2008
In the event Commission staff intends to recommend to the Commission that it initiate a proceeding under 18 CFR 385 against the subject of an investigation being conducted under the provisions of 18 CFR Part 1b, or to recommend that the Commission make the subject of an investigation a defendant in a civil action to be brought by the Commission, the subject of that investigation shall have the right to be so informed and provide the Commission with written non-public response to staff’s recommendation
Enforcement Actions Submissions to the Commission upon Staff Intention to Seek an Order to Show Cause