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News Release
April 16, 2003
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Electricity Price Hikes for South & West?
U.S. Rep. Richard Burr to Keynote April 22 Charlotte Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plan by federal regulators to alter radically the nation’s electricity markets could result in consumers in southern and western states paying more for electricity. That – and the potential for California-type market disruptions on a national scale – has many observers wondering whether Congress will derail or force changes to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s so-called Standard Market Design proposal. A panel of experts, including U.S. Rep. Richard Burr, will meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday, April 22, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Burr is vice chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation, and held at the Charlotte Marriott City Center beginning at 9:30 a.m., the event features a keynote speech by Burr and a roundtable discussion. Panelists will include: James "Buddy" Atkins, Commissioner South Carolina PSC; Roberta Bowman, SVP of External Affairs, Duke Energy; Andy Dearman, CTO, The Southern Company; James Y. Kerr, Commissioner, North Carolina Utility Commission; Thomas M. Lenard, Senior Fellow and VP, The Progress & Freedom Foundation; Scott Miller, Exec. Director for Market Applications, PJM; and Steve Rodgers, Director, Division of Tariffs & Market Development, FERC. The moderator will be Progress & Freedom Foundation President Raymond L. Gifford, who is the immediate past chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Those wishing to attend should register by contacting Eileen Goulding at or 202-289-8928.

The Federal government already has jurisdiction over much of the interstate electricity system. Now, in a lengthy regulatory proposal, the FERC is seeking to create new transmission authorities and direct their operation from Washington. The plan would pit southern and western states, which enjoy reliable and relatively cheap electricity, against high-cost eastern states and energy traders like Enron. Despite growing resistance to Standard Market Design, Congress failed to take action to counter it before adjourning for Easter recess last week. The Senate may tackle the issue when it passes its version of comprehensive energy legislation in the coming weeks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the impact of the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1993.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation