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I enjoyed your article on power production, "Power Source" (July). Just a few comments, though. Consideration of the economics of electric power production — alone — always ignores the real economies accruing to better use of the thermal properties of the fuel used to generate electric power. The most exciting technologies today use proven technology combined with better use of common fuels. "Heat" can be used to generate electricity, provide domestic hot water, and even generate chilled water for air-conditioning systems.
Anyway, thanks for writing about the subject. Many CFOs are taking an interest in the savings to be had from better use of common fuels.
D. A. James
Merit CM Corp.
In Defense of the AICPA
Your article "The AICPA: Heading South?" (Topline, July) provided a sadly inaccurate picture of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants's role and scope.
The AICPA continues to have strong and effective working relationships with the regulatory community. For example, the PCAOB incorporated a number of our recommendations into its rule on independence, tax services, and contingent fees. Another example: the AICPA worked with the IRS to provide taxpayer assistance at disaster-recovery centers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The IRS subsequently presented the Institute with a certificate of excellence for our efforts.
We are also very active in policy debate. We produced two comprehensive studies on Social Security and tax reform that impartially analyzed the various reform proposals. In the area of corporate governance, our Audit Committee Effectiveness Center helps audit committees exercise their responsibilities appropriately.
Image polls in recent years reveal that the CPA profession enjoys a robust reputation among the business community and general public. The AICPA is dedicated to upholding the core values for which our profession is respected.
Finally, we find it surprising that a publication for chief financial officers would question the AICPA's relocation to North Carolina, a business decision that is estimated to save $11 million per year over 15 years.
Chair, Board of Directors
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants