RTO Insider™ is your eyes and ears on the organized electric markets, putting you “inside the
room” at CAISO, ERCOT, ISO-NE, MISO, NYISO, PJM and SPP. We provide independent, objective coverage and analysis of the
wholesale electric industry’s markets and policymaking, saving you time and ensuring you don’t miss the issues most important
to your interests.
- Coverage of key RTO/ISO committee, subcommittee and task force meetings. We’ll be there when you can’t.
- Coverage of news events impacting the industry throughout the 35 states managed by the RTOs/ISOs.
- Coverage of state and federal regulatory (FERC, EPA) & legislative news affecting RTO/ISO stakeholders.
- Issue Briefs: Concise summaries of major issues (e.g., Order 1000, EPA’s 111(d) rule).
What RTO Insider isn’t: We are not advocates or representatives. You can trust that our coverage
will not be slanted to the interests of any member or membership sector.
RTO Insider Staff:
Rich Heidorn Jr.
Editor-in-Chief / Co-Publisher
Rich is a former reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he began covering the electric industry as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware introduced competition in the late 1990s. His coverage won the National Press Foundation’s 1998 award for energy reporting. He later headed a Houston-based startup that produced hourly power indexes and worked as an energy analyst for Bloomberg Government. In between, he worked for eight years in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement, where he became a whistleblower — proving he was not cut out for government work. He holds a journalism degree from Penn State University and an MBA from Temple University.
Chief Operating Officer / Co-Publisher
Merry is a former marketing consultant and technology professional who with RTO Insider, LLC has launched her third successful business. She holds a BA in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania. A native Philadelphian and avid sports fan, she doesn’t want to talk about the Phillies.
Deputy Editor/Senior Correspondent
Robert is a former editor with Argus Media, where he oversaw coverage of the U.S. electricity sector, compiled daily power price indexes, and followed developments in the West as a reporter. After a stint writing about California’s cap-and-trade system, he decided to return to the relative simplicity of covering organized energy markets. Robert holds an English degree from Tulane University and a master’s in economics from University College Dublin, where his coursework focused on European integration during the headier days of the project. He lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife, Christina, and son, Henry.
Production Editor, Reporter
Michael joined RTO Insider after stints with The Montgomery County Sentinel, USA TODAY and Patch. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Michael lives in Mount Rainier, Md. A former waiter, he asks you to tip your servers generously.
Michael started at newspapers in the U.S. before moving overseas in 1991. He worked as a correspondent for BusinessWeek in Istanbul until 2011, and contributed to the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, Dow Jones, BBC Radio and other major news organizations. He founded and edited a monthly magazine, Turkish Business World, from 1998 to 2006. Michael also was a reporter, editor and columnist for national English-language dailies in Turkey. His last paper, Today’s Zaman, was shut down by the Turkish government in July 2016. For the past six years, Michael has been learning about metrology and number behavior, knowledge that he hopes will help him give RTO Insider readers new insights into electric power pricing in New York and New England.
Amanda Durish Cook
Amanda has worked in newspapers for over a decade, first contributing to community papers in Michigan before working as a reporter and editor for The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. Amanda is an alumna of the University of Michigan and is back in the Midwest where she belongs. She resides in Indianapolis, Ind. with her husband Scott and dog Ichabod. You can find her camping, canoeing, skiing and making her way through the titles in Oprah’s Book Club.
Rory has covered energy and environmental issues for more than 15 years and served as a media representative for two Fortune 500 energy companies. Rory received bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and journalism from Temple University. After years spent in northeastern Pennsylvania and a stint in Texas, he has returned to Philadelphia, where he volunteers his time for various activities involving bagpipes and rugby.
ERCOT/SPP Correspondent Tom has 24 years of experience in the electric industry. During his time with CSW before its merger with AEP, he earned his family of four free airfare to New York City by making bi-monthly round trips between Dallas and Columbus as a member of the merger management team. Tom also handled public relations during TXU’s contentious effort to build 11 coal plants in Texas — and lived to talk about it. After a short stint with ERCOT helping implement its nodal market, Tom spent four years at SPP, managing communications for the implementation of the RTO’s Integrated Marketplace. A former sportswriter, Tom holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He lives in North Little Rock, Ark.
Julie joined RTO Insider after a 10-year stint as a senior managing editor in the newsletter division of American Lawyer Media. She holds a journalism and English degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a juris doctor from Pace University School of Law. She is a recovering attorney who fled the practice of law in search of a career that didn’t involve arguing with people. Julie resides in Bucks County, Pa., with her husband, Charles, and her son, Ben.
Peter has been a business reporter for the Philadelphia Business Journal, The Indianapolis Star and The Press of Atlantic City. He began writing about the electric power industry for the Press in the late 1980s, first covered it full time at the Star in the mid-1990s and added it to his beats at the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2003. He has continued to write about the industry since leaving the Business Journal in 2013. Peter also licenses the intellectual property of his father, the late Ted Key, who created a cartoon maid named Hazel and the characters that became Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the time-traveling dog and boy. Peter has a B.A. in English and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University. He lives in Lansdowne, Pa.
A native Washingtonian, Marge brings more than 30 years of sales experience to RTO Insider, most recently at IA Watch in the financial sector. Marge has a B.A. in business/management and accounting from the University of Maryland. An avid runner in the past, she is now an avid walker. Drop her on the beach and she’ll be happy. Nickname: Marge-in-charge.
Ben Gardner studied classics at St. John’s College and biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He spent a few years studying the circadian rhythms of the fruit fly in a neuroscience lab. His favorite cuisine is Korean BBQ. He recently went on a road trip across country, only to be rear ended 30 feet from his house. He’s passionate about digital marketing and loves the process of building an online audience more than nearly anything else.
In Memoriam 1960-2017
Contributing editor Ted Caddell, RTO Insider’s longest-serving staffer — and the voice of our daily emails and many of our social media postings — passed away in March 2017. See our tribute.
General correspondence can be sent to: RTO Insider LLC; 10837 Deborah Drive; Potomac, MD 20854-2716.