Infrastructure Recommendations (Volume IV, Chapter 4)

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Oct. 8, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

INF 22 – Combine Infrastructure Siting Authorities Into One Agency
Comment: CMTA supports this proposal. The California Public Utilities Commission has been neither timely nor sufficiently supportive when it comes to transmission upgrades in the state. The California Energy Commission, on the other hand, has done an admirable job with regard to the siting of generation. It makes sense to have the Energy Commission, or in this case its successor, the Energy Division of the Infrastructure Department, assume responsibility for both generation and transmission siting. The CPUC would continue in the appropriate role of cost allocation and ratemaking for utility customers.

INF 23 – Consolidate Energy Planning, Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency
Comment: CMTA supports transferring the administration of these functions to the Energy Division of the Infrastructure Department. However, the CPUC should retain authority over the utility procurement of energy efficiency programs and the cost allocation and ratemaking necessary to spread their costs. Because energy efficiency is the first order choice for new power resources, so long as it is cost-effective, the CPUC utility procurement process is the appropriate venue for ensuring such programs pass the test and are in fact cost-effective.

INF 25 – Consolidate the Offices of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) and Public Adviser’s (OPA)
Comments: CMTA supports the proposal and recommends additional reforms. First, the CPUC should be required to determine at the outset of a proceeding whether it is appropriate for ORA/OPA or outside groups to intervene, based on the scope of the proceeding and the resources available. Second, the CPUC should not be allowed to authorize both ORA/OPA advocacy and professional outside advocacy (i.e., intervenor compensation) in a single proceeding. These reforms will eliminate wasteful and costly duplication of advocacy efforts at the CPUC.
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