ECG Contributes to APPA Comments to House Ways & Means

APPA submitted comments representing the interests of Public Power Providers to the House Ways & Means Committee regarding the Hearing on Energy Tax Policy and Tax Reform. ECG contributed to APPA's comments on behalf of Participant communities.

Comments submitted by APPA 

 

APPA Policy Makers Council Summer Meeting

Mayor Larry Guest of Elberton and Walter West spent Tuesday, July 26th, meeting with Georgia Congressmen and Congressional staff regarding issues that impact municipal electric providers in Georgia.  Twice a year, the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council coordinates a national fly-in where local elected officials meet with members of Congress.  During this summer’s fly-in, Guest and West met with Sanford Bishop, Tom Graves, John Lewis, Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price and Rob Woodall (and/or their staffs) to discuss the following issues: Cable Pole Attachment, Cyber-Security and Spectrum Allocation for the Electric Industry.

Mayor Guest, Congressman Sanford Bishop, Walter West

The following topics were discussed during the Congressional Meetings:

  • Municipalities in Georgia and throughout most of the country have an exemption for the Federal Communication Commission’s regulation on Cable Pole Attachment rates.  This exemption has been under threat over the past few years.  Should the exemption be removed, this could impact our cities by ~$4 million annually.

 

  • In an effort to protect distribution grid vulnerabilities, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is attempting to regulate municipalities.  Presently, the North American Electric Reliability Council works with the electric industry to determine vulnerabilities and solutions to these issues.  These solutions are then recommended to FERC for rule adoption.  We are not in favor FERC regulating municipalities by applying additional regulations.

 

  • Presently, the electric industry does not have a communications spectrum designated specifically for its needs. It is commonly misunderstood that electric interests are for meter-reading only. The electric industry needs a communications spectrum for grid efficiency, outage notification, work force dispatch and disaster response. 

 

If you would like to hear more about the talking points that Mayor Guest and Walter West discussed with the Georgia Congressional Representatives, please contact Walter West: wwest@ecoga.org OR 770.563.1250.

 


Legislative & Regulatory Activity

ECG goes to Washington

July 27, 2010

Every year, APPA hosts an event in Washington, D.C. for the Policy Makers Council (PMC) members to present pertinent utility issues to Congress in one-on-one meetings.

This year, PMC member, Mayor Larry Guest of Elberton, and Walter West attended the event on behalf of Electric Cities of Georgia. They discussed relevant utility concerns that will possibly face Congress in the coming sessions including Pole Attachment Rates. Pole Attachment Rates are approximately a $4 million per year issue for the municipalities in Georgia alone. Mayor Guest and Walter West urged Georgia Congressmen to preserve the municipal exemption and allow local Georgia governments to reap a fair and equitable cost for utility pole attachments.

Mayor Guest and Walter West met with the Congressional Offices of John Linder, Lynn Westmoreland, Sanford Bishop, Tom Price, John Barrow, Jim Marshall, and Paul Broun.

This issue will possibly come up in the next Legislative session. ECG is closely watching any progress associated with this issue and may contact you in the future to remind your Congressman that the preservation of the municipal exemption is an important issue to Georgia municipalities. It will ensure fair rates can be enforced and will protect electric customers from the subsidization of cable companies.

Here is the visual aid that Mayor Guest and Walter West used to communicate the different pole attachment rates.