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Massey Looks at Tough Road Ahead

Massey Looks at Tough Road Ahead

Looking ahead to what might be the defining issues for his next term if his renomination is approved by the Senate, Commissioner William L. Massey focused on FERC's pipeline certification process, its offshore policy, the issues contained in the gas policy options paper - which so far have not been made public - and on ISOs on the electric side. He said the Commission probably will act on the gas policy options paper with a notice of proposed rulemaking within the next few weeks.

"The issues the paper deals with are issues related to how to capture greater efficiency in the marketplace. They are issues that have been around here for some time. I think frankly there is nothing surprising about any of it. The paper deals with issues related to the short-term market, the secondary market, negotiated terms and conditions of service and so forth."

But perhaps the most important area the Commission will confront, Massey said, is how to refine its certification process in the midst of handling multiple pipeline projects when there is an ever increasing number of interventions from landowners and environmental advocacy groups.

"We know that certificating projects is a very important part of what we do, but that job has gotten tougher and tougher over the past few months and years so the concerns that we have to balance are important ones. And I think we are trying to figure out how to navigate the certificate process in a way that ensures that we have enough pipe in the ground to meet growing need while balancing competing concerns," said Massey. "I think the process has become tougher because those who express environmental concern and concerns of the landowners have become better organized and more vocal and more politically astute about how they approach the process."

Without any noticeable roadblocks to confirmation, Massey is optimistic the Senate will allow him to remain on the regulatory panel until June 30, 2003. "The signals that I have been getting from the Hill are positive, but you know I don't take anything for granted. I'm optimistic that the committee will schedule a hearing within a reasonable period of time and I'm hopeful that they move my nomination forward. I'm generally very optimistic about my prospects."

Rocco Canonica

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