The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been putting somemeat on the bones of its FERC First restructuring efforts,following up the announcement of a new director, with that of a newdeputy 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 andthe engineering and environmental aspects of new gas pipelineprojects. “Energy Projects will focus on another set of keyCommission Goals – project siting and development, balancingenvironmental and other concerns and safeguarding the public,”Chairman James Hoecker said in announcing the new office. He saidit would be about equal in size to OMTR and labeled the work of thetwo divisions “our economic and non-economic regulatory efforts.”Hydropower licensing and the pipeline certificate processes havemuch in common, including the need for detailed environmentalevaluations and the fact that they deal with long-term projectsthat can be in effect for decades.

In OMTR, Kevin Madden, former director of the Office of PipelineRegulation (OPR), has been named deputy director to assist new OMTRDirector Daniel Larcamp, a former advisor to Chairman James Hoeckerwho was named to head the new division just a few weeks ago. Thedirector of the Office of Electric Power Regulation, Shelton M.Cannon, his deputy, Kevin A. Kelly, the Director of the Office ofEconomic Policy Richard P. O’Neill and Robert J. Cupina, deputydirector of OPR, have been named to a leadership team aimed atmaking 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 inaddition to Madden. “There is some significant talent at the topsof existing organizations and among those a level or two below thetop ranks,” Larcamp told NGI.

FERC First is rolling toward a scheduled completion by March,2000. Larcamp stressed the “open architecture” of the newlyorganized Commission will provide more flexibility. ” There is amisapprehension that pursuit of teams means they will be thrustinto an inflexible working environment. The converse is what istrue. Team roles and responsibilities may be less important forcertain projects than others.” The convergence of the offices ofnatural gas and electric regulation mirrors what is going on in theindustry, Larcamp said. He acknowledged the fact that pooling gasand oil pipeline and electric regulation expertise may involveeducation for those taking on new areas, but he pointed to thebenefits of having the opportunity and incentive for transferringideas and practices to new areas.

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