Energy Industry Update: Summer 2005

The ScottMadden Energy Industry Update

The Energy Industry Update (EIU) is a compendium of breaking news, emerging issues, and recent developments in the energy industry.

Summer 2005 finds the financial burdens of many energy companies easing; however, new pressures are rapidly emerging. Natural gas and coal prices are forecast to remain stubbornly high for the next few years. Increasing interest rates will stress companies with remaining heavy debt burdens. The EPA has just promulgated new rules regarding emissions of mercury, SO2, and NOx. Coal-fired generators are feeling pressure to voluntarily address global warming in a dual effort to satisfy both environmental and return on rate base concerns. And finally, the industry is beginning a slow march toward consolidation, several RTOs are becoming active, and there is renewed interest in expanding nuclear generation.

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The Energy Industry Update - Volume 16 - Issue 2

The energy industry is changing, and its regulatory and financial moorings are shifting. Competitive markets combined with other factors may lead to early nuclear unit retirement. Continuing changes in energy supply and demand patterns create a complex operation environment for electric utilities. Federal and state policy lines are beginning to blur as states have been increasingly intervening in FERC domain seeking favorable outcomes for their citizens and other local constituencies. In our Update, themed “As Yogi Berra Might Say…,” we look at the unusual picture drawn by the juxtaposition of these changes.

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