Late Breaking News....
Three of the four leading natural gas trade associations on
Friday were said to be either definitely on board or "favorably
inclined" to jointly ask FERC for a second extension of the
deadline for industry comments on the major notice of proposed
rulemaking (NOPR) and notice of inquiry (NOI) issued in July
[RM98-10, RM98-12]. A source indicated there was a "50-50 chance"
the lone association holdout would sign on too. The joint request,
which reportedly is being spear-headed by the Interstate Natural
Gas Association of America (INGAA), would seek a six-month
extension of the current Jan. 22nd deadline, and could be filed at
the Commission as early as this week. A possible reason for the
move is that one of the groups is trying to buy time to broker a
compromise with the other three associations on a voluntary auction
proposal, the source said. This would make pipeline participation
in capacity auctioning optional, as opposed to the mandatory route
that FERC seems to favor.
This would mark the second time that FERC has been asked to push
back the comment deadline for the NOPR and NOI. In early October,
it granted a 74-day delay to Jan. 22nd from Nov. 9th. The extension
request then came from the top four gas associations - INGAA, the
Natural Gas Supply Association, the American Gas Association and
the Independent Petroleum Association of America - and the Process
Gas Consumers Group/American Iron and Steel Institute, and the
National Association of Consumer Advocates.
Meanwhile, another report has FERC staff meeting privately with
individual industry segments to trouble-shoot problems associated
with NOPR issues. This is in addition to the second technical
conference on auction issues the Commission has scheduled for Dec.
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