PUHCA, as we know it, has been repealed.
As SEC alums know, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, or PUHCA (puke-ah), has long been administered by an insular little office within the SECís Division of Investment Management.
Last week, however, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law. The energy bill gives the old PUHCA the heave-ho and creates a brand new PUHCA in its place. The new PUHCA (named, logically, the "Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005") will be administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The energy bill requires the SEC to transfer all of its PUHCA-related books over to the FERC within the next six months. However, the SECís PUHCA-related people will not be transferred. According to an SEC spokesperson, the 25 or so employees in IMís PUHCA office "will be reassigned within the SEC."
Itís a pretty safe bet that the upcoming IM director, whoever he or she is, is out there breathing a sigh of relief. Although most Ď40 Act attorneys were able to stay away from PUHCAís snarls, the IM division director and at least one associate director historically had to oversee the PUHCA office.