Energy Guardian

Obama will keep LaFleur as FERC chief for 9 months

The White House on Wednesday confirmed that it has agreed to keep Cheryl LaFleur as the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an additional nine months after the Senate confirms her to a second term, rather than install nominee Norman Bay to the post immediately upon his confirmation.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House signed off on a deal brokered by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., to have LaFleur, the acting chair at FERC, remain in the post while Bay gets experience on the commission.

That deal paved the way for Bay, FERC's enforcement chief, to win endorsement earlier in the day from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on a vote that was nearly along party lines. Landrieu is chair of the panel.

Note holders sue bankrupt Energy Future’s EFIH over refinancing


Computershare Trust Co, the trustee for the holders of some of the notes from Energy Future Intermediate Holding Co, or EFIH, has filed suit to block a refinancing deal it says tries to get around early redemption penalties worth more than $700 million, Reuters reports.

Flat-fee electricity plan on offer to Reliant customers in Texas

The Associated Press

NRG subsidiary Reliant Energy is offering its customers what it calls a first for Texas: They can use all of the electricity they want over the course of a year for a flat monthly payment, The Associated Press reports.

Utilities discuss their challenges at annual meeting


Sue Kelly, the new chief of the American Public Power Association, hopes to generate a sense of urgency about such issues as grid security and distributed electric generation as the group's members gather for their annual meeting in Denver this week, E&E reports.

Energy Guardian Photo

Landrieu nears deal to advance FERC nominee Bay

Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday moved closer toward a deal that would advance through her committee President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top energy regulator, though final details were still being negotiated in advance of a vote planned for Wednesday.

Landrieu, D-La., Senate Energy and Natural Resources chair, said the full terms of the appointment of Norman Bay to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were not yet agreed on.

Energy cybersecurity trails banking sector but it’s improving


The Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ES-ISAC, set up by presidential directive to deal with cybersecurity threats, is not as advanced as a similar financial unit that’s operating, experts told E&E, but a recent survey found utilities in general performed better than the health care and retail industries.

Birds, squirrels take toll on Juneau power lines

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Power company officials in Alaska's capital say squirrels and birds are turning the lights out for city customers.

The Juneau Empire reports wildlife has knocked out power to Juneau customers seven times this year.

The latest was Wednesday night when a bald eagle dropped trash from a city landfill onto a line. Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll says the ensuing short caused a loud bang and knocked out power to 10,020 customers.

Minnesota firm receives notice of market manipulation from FERC


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a notice of alleged manipulation in Midcontinent Independent System Operator markets involving Twin Cities Power-Canada and its affiliates, Platts reports.

‘Crude’ device catches fire at Arizona substation


A fire at a UniSource substation near Nogales, Ariz. in the early morning hours Wednesday was caused by a device law enforcement authorities described as “crude,” and they said no one was hurt and no power outages resulted, but the incident took place as the Battelle Institute released an analysis calling for comprehensive responses to grid threats, E&E reports.

Request for probe of Illinois energy suppliers


Illinois’ consumer reports of confusing and sometimes misleading offers by alternative energy suppliers that led to huge electricity bills have prompted the Citizens Utility Board watchdog and the city of Chicago to request a formal investigation by state regulators, E&E reports.


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