FTC Approves Federal Register Notice Announcing Review of Three Agency Regulations; Commission Approves Advocacy Comment on Retail Electricity Competition in Arizona

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FTC Approves Federal Register Notice Announcing Review of Three Agency Regulations

– The Commission has approved a Federal Register notice announcing that during 2009, it will conduct a regulatory review of three agency regulations: 1) the Guides for Private Vocational and Distance Education Schools (Vocational Guides), 16 CFR 254; 2) the Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification, and Posting Rule (Fuel Rating Rule), 16 CFR 306; and 3) the Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans Rule (Negative Option Rule), 16 CFR 425. The notice also sets forth a regulatory review schedule for the next 10 years.

The notice states that the FTC is seeking information on, among other things, the economic impact of, and continuing need for, the rules; possible conflict between the rules and state, local, or other federal regulations; and the effect on the rules of any technological, economic, or other industry changes.

The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 4-0. It will be published soon and is available now on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. P924214; the staff contact is Janice Podoll Frankle, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3022.)

Commission Approves Advocacy Comment on Retail Electricity Competition in Arizona

– The Commission has approved the transmission of an advocacy comment on retail electricity competition to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).  The comment, which addresses the possibility that retail electricity competition may be reopened within Arizona, brings two documents to the ACC’s attention: 1) the FTC’s December 2008 dynamic pricing comment to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and 2) a five-agency report to Congress (to which FTC staff contributed) on electric market competition.  Both documents described the merits of establishing retail electricity prices that reflect the marginal cost of electricity.

Specifically, according to the FTC’s new comment, if the ACC determines that the benefits of retail electricity competition outweigh the costs, the interagency report to Congress includes potentially useful recommendations about how to increase the likelihood that such competition will work well.  The FTC also encourages the ACC – regardless of the decision it makes regarding electricity competition – to examine dynamic pricing as a means to address a wide array of electric system problems.

The Commission vote approving the comment and authorizing its transmission to the ACC was 4-0.  It was sent to the ACC on January 27, 2009, and can be found on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release.  (FTC File No. V090001; the staff contact is John H. Seesel, Associate General Counsel for Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2702.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 4.2009.wpd)

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