I work for clients whose goal is excellence in utility regulation. Public-spirited parties retain me to present expert testimony. Regulators seek advice on designing and managing hearings, drafting opinions in complex cases, and establishing metrics and internal organization for regulatory excellence. Utilities have retained me to understand how to incorporate neutral regulatory principles into their proposals. This work has encompassed all phases of regulation—drafting and critiquing legislation, writing rules, presenting witnesses, testifying as a witness, conducting cross examination, writing orders, and arguing appeals. The topics have included market structure; mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring; revenue requirements and rate design; transmission and rate policies affecting renewable and other energy producers; methods for stimulating innovation by public utilities; and state–federal jurisdictional issues, among others.
At least a dozen times a year I conduct intensive on-site seminars, using curricula shaped to clients' needs, saving everyone travel cost and time.
In my research and writing, I seek to break new ground on unsolved regulatory challenges. Among my recent research subjects are the following:
Regulatory hearings are critical to a commission's obligation to gather facts and insights. But they run the risk of becoming a "tragedy of the commons": each party exploiting its hearing time for its own advantage, leaving little time for the commission to promote the public interest.
Working with commissions, we have found ways to avoid this result. Our proceedings have used a unique approach: organizing appearances by issues rather than parties.
Since 1988 I have taught regulatory law and policy to thousands of students: beginning, intermediate, and advanced professionals from a broad range of professions—law, engineering, economics, accounting, finance, and management. I continue to present annual courses on the fundamentals (fall) and current topics (spring) in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Additionally, I am available throughout the year to present topic-specific seminars tailored to your organization's needs, at your location.
The quality of commission decisions depends on such intangibles as (a) the clarity of a commission's mission and how deeply that mission permeates its staff and procedures, (b) the internal organization and culture, (c) how the commission communicates with external actors, and (d) whether and how it chooses to lead rather than react.
During my substantive relationships with commissions I am often asked to advise on these intangibles.