the CAMP ENRON Report


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

Some say it's nothing but a train wreck ... roll in the big cranes, clear the track, see what the crew's been smoking. If I thought so, I'd not be writing this ... and if they thought so, they'd not be drumming so hard.


For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

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Camp Enron Archives
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003

NOTE to READERS:
(2) All "major" articles of older material have now been imported, some with updates worth perusing. We'll keep it all on the main page for a while, will add a few loose pieces of history, will trim the main page and index the archives for convenience later.


OUR DEPARTMENTS:

the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ... taking an imposing analytic toolkit out of the box, over the wall and into the street ... with callous disregard for accepted wisdom and standard English

reading the tea leaves from original angles, we've led with uncannily prescient takes on the federal surplus, the dotcom crash, the "Energy Crisis", the Afghan campaign, the federal deficit.

More where those came from ... stay tuned.


For brief orientation, see this
Welcome to CP


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

OTHER GOOD STUFF:
Many thanks to Tony Adragna and Will Vehrs, still shouting 'cross the Potomac at QuasiPundit. Early Camp Enron material can be found in QP's Dispatches department.
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

 
--- Beware the GigaNop, My Son ---

Today is the expected release date for FERC's "Giga-NOPR" [Or should that be "GIGO-NOPR"?] ... a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking, several hundred pages in length, defining FERC's "Standard Market Design" for electric power across the USA, and opening it to a 75-day comment period before imposing it on regional markets from coast to coast.

FERC is still charging down the highway to deregulated energy markets, even as dereg's wiser champions survey the wreckage and ponder "lessons learned". Dereg is still a dubious vision, and an even more questionable reality given recent experience.

Expect passionate resistance especially from the Southeast (where legacy industry is comfortable in the old schemes) and Northwest (where "SMD" would abrogate a century's worth of grand-scale social compromises underlying hydropower, and where we're still staring in disbelief at bills resulting from the California experiment's bizarre side-effects).

The "gotchas" of dereg are nastier than anybody anticipated, the fundamental issues are unsolved (and arguably unsolvable), the gamesmanship cahllenges turn out to be major-league, and the stodgy old regulatory regimes don't look half bad now in retrospect.

FERC is on thin ice after a federal court found they exceeded legislative authority. They dodged a bullet earlier this year when the Cantwell Amendment came to a floor vote before the "Death Star" memo surfaced. Even this year's Lone Star dereg is unexpectedly problematic. (By quirks of history, geography and economy, Texas is self-sufficient and virtually isolated from national power grids.)

FERC is playing with fire. Expect feedback -- possibly at bureaucratically lethal levels.

UPDATE: The beast is released. FERC press materials describe it as a remedy for market defects. It does cap spot prices ... but at several times the price ceiling FERC applied in mid-2001 to short-circuit the California crisis gamesmanship. It's going to be one very hot summer.