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By Jonathan Raab, Ph.D.
Foreward by Susan F. Tierney

The utility industry and its regulatory environment are at a crossroads.  Utilities, intervenors, and even public utility commissions are no longer able to initiate and sustain changes unilaterally.  Traditional approaches to regulation are often contentious and costly, producing results that are not perceived as legitimate or practical.  Consensus building and alternative dispute resolution have the potential to help utilities, intervenors and regulators resolve a host of regulatory issues.

This book traces the decline of consensus in utility regulation and delineates current controversies.  It presents the theory and practice of alternative dispute resolution in utility regulation and offers a framework for evaluating the successes and failures of attempts to employ these processes.  Four regulatory cases are analyzed in detail: the Pilgrim nuclear power plant outage settlement; the use of DSM collaboratives; the New Jersey resource bidding policy; and the formation of integrated resource management rules in Massachusetts.

An invaluable resource for anyone involved in utility issues, this book should also be useful to those interested in applying alternative dispute resolution techniques to other public policy disputes. 


“None of us knows what America’s electric power industry will look like in ten years.  [This book] suggests some very practical techniques for reducing the amount of figurative blood and real money that could be wasted in our mutual struggles over how to get there.”

Michael Dworkin, Vermont Public Service Board
The Electricity Journal

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