The Creative Regulator

[C]reativity is never simply the achievement of a lone individual or even a small group.  Rather, creativity is the occasional emergent from the interaction of three autonomous elements:  (1) The individual who has mastered some discipline or domain of practice and is steadily issuing variations in that domain.... (2) The cultural domain in which an individual is working, with its models, prescriptions, and proscriptions.... (3) The social field—those individuals and institutions that provide access to relevant educational experiences as well as opportunities to perform.

— Howard Gardner, Five Minds for the Future at pp. 80-81 (citing the work of psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) (emphases in the original)

Today’s regulatory challenges resist on-the-shelf solutions.  In energy, we face overconsumption, excess emissions, the need to mesh new renewable sources with old fossil units and to integrate wholesale competition with retail monopolies.  In telecommunications, we still struggle to find the appropriate mixes of competition and regulation, while redefining universal service to accommodate society’s dependence on the internet.  In water, we search for a stable compromise between local management and regional economies of scale, between our need to improve infrastructure and our consumers’ concern about price rises.

Our century of experience provides plenty of principles; their application calls for creativity.  Let’s look at Gardner’s three requirements.

Services

Testimony, Papers, and Presentations

The testimony addresses the following: the effect of the transaction on consumers, including: (1) reasonableness of the purchase price, including whether the purchase price was reasonable in light of the savings that can be demonstrated from the merger and whether the purchase price is within a reasonable range; (2) whether ratepayer benefits . . .
Testimony addresses the issues of whether the proposed transaction affects the interests of ratepayers; the ability of JCP&L and MAIT to provide safe, adequate, and proper utility service at just and reasonable rates; and whether the proposed transaction is in the public interest.
This expert report was submitted to a federal trial court in May 2016 on behalf of City of Jacksonville, Florida. The litigation, and report, involve a 1943 disaffiliation of a gas corporation from its holding company, as mandated by the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. The report explains why the disaffiliation did not prevent liability for the costs of environmental cleanup, if such liability exists under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, from passing to the new corporation.

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Regulating Public Utility Performance

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Regulating Public Utility Performance:  The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction

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Preside or Lead

Preside or Lead?
The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators

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Hempling Appearances

Energy Bar Association
Panel on Practice Principles for New Regulatory Lawyers


UDC Law School Panel
Is the Exelon Takeover of Pepco in the Public Interest?


Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission
3rd Judges’ Seminar


Telecom Forum
Asamblea Plenaria REGULATEL


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Hempling Courses at Georgetown Law

Spring 2017 | Litigating at Regulatory Agencies: Roles, Skills and Strategies


Fall 2017 | Renewable Energy, Internet, Uber: Bringing Competition to Historically Monopolistic Industries

Electricity Jurisdiction

Testimonials

I highly recommend Scott Hempling. I have known him since 2003, since he was a consultant for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on various important and cutting-edge policy regulatory matters in Hawaii, through his time as the Executive Director at the National Regulatory Research Institute. His expertise, knowledge, and experience in all regulatory and energy matters is unmatched, and he would be a highly valuable resource and asset in any such endeavor.
— Carlito P. Caliboso, former Chairman, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission