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Craig Cites Concerns Over FERC Policy Options Paper

Craig Cites Concerns Over FERC Policy Options Paper

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) confirmed last week that he has sought "some information" from FERC on its natural gas policy options paper, saying he was especially concerned that certain proposals could lead to re-regulation of the gas industry.

In seeking the information, "my intention simply was [as] a member of the Energy Committee to understand what they're doing and why they're doing it," he said following a speech to the National Energy Resources Organization (NERO) on Capitol Hill last week. "My curiosity has been satisfied," he told energy executives.

Craig doubted it would be necessary "at this time" to call a Senate oversight hearing to explore the issues in the options paper. He indicated the Commission would make "some public pronouncement, if necessary, when they move toward proposing any kind of final rule..."

The options paper, which has been under tight seal at FERC for months, takes a look at ways to resolve the lingering, second-generation gas issues, such as pricing in the capacity-release market, negotiated terms and conditions of service and regulation of pipelines on the Outer Continental Shelf. It was prepared by FERC staff, and has been in the hands of the commissioners since March.

Separately, Craig said he wasn't privy to who might succeed Energy Secretary Federico Pena. "No, not in any finality." Pena has announced that he will step down at the end of the month.

Susan Parker

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