FERC's Larcamp on Convergence
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been putting some
meat on the bones of its FERC First restructuring efforts,
following up the announcement of a new director, with that of a new
deputy director of the merged Office of Markets, Tariffs and Rates
(OMTR) and a new Office of Energy Projects (OEP).
The new OEP will encompass hydroelectric project licensing and
the engineering and environmental aspects of new gas pipeline
projects. "Energy Projects will focus on another set of key
Commission Goals - project siting and development, balancing
environmental and other concerns and safeguarding the public,"
Chairman James Hoecker said in announcing the new office. He said
it would be about equal in size to OMTR and labeled the work of the
two divisions "our economic and non-economic regulatory efforts."
Hydropower licensing and the pipeline certificate processes have
much in common, including the need for detailed environmental
evaluations and the fact that they deal with long-term projects
that can be in effect for decades.
In OMTR, Kevin Madden, former director of the Office of Pipeline
Regulation (OPR), has been named deputy director to assist new OMTR
Director Daniel Larcamp, a former advisor to Chairman James Hoecker
who was named to head the new division just a few weeks ago. The
director of the Office of Electric Power Regulation, Shelton M.
Cannon, his deputy, Kevin A. Kelly, the Director of the Office of
Economic Policy Richard P. O'Neill and Robert J. Cupina, deputy
director of OPR, have been named to a leadership team aimed at
making a smooth transition of their departments into the new OMTR.
Larcamp, who joined Hoecker in announcing Madden's appointment,
said he hoped it was clear there could be other deputies in
addition to Madden. "There is some significant talent at the tops
of existing organizations and among those a level or two below the
top ranks," Larcamp told NGI.
FERC First is rolling toward a scheduled completion by March,
2000. Larcamp stressed the "open architecture" of the newly
organized Commission will provide more flexibility. " There is a
misapprehension that pursuit of teams means they will be thrust
into an inflexible working environment. The converse is what is
true. Team roles and responsibilities may be less important for
certain projects than others." The convergence of the offices of
natural gas and electric regulation mirrors what is going on in the
industry, Larcamp said. He acknowledged the fact that pooling gas
and oil pipeline and electric regulation expertise may involve
education for those taking on new areas, but he pointed to the
benefits of having the opportunity and incentive for transferring
ideas and practices to new areas.
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