Funding for Pipeline RegulationTakes Precedence
Funding for natural gas and oil pipeline regulation was the big
winner in FERC's budget for fiscal year 2000, according to the
agency's budget request.
The Commission asked for $70.5 million for gas and oil
pipelines, which is 40% of its overall FY 2000 budget request of
$179.9 million. The budget request submitted to Congress last week
was up 7.8% over the $167.5 million that FERC sought for FY 1999.
FERC earmarked $56.6 million for electric power regulation in FY
2000, and $42.7 million for hydropower. Funding for electric
accounted for about 32% of the budget request, while funding for
hydropower represented 29%.
The proposed increase in the budget was owing to three factors:
$6 million for mandatory salary and benefits raises of 5.5%, a
one-time cost of $2 million for FERC First, and $5 million for
improvements in information technology (IT), the Commission said.
In its budget proposal, FERC sought a reduced level of full-time
employees (1,320) for FY 2000 - 515 FTEs for gas and oil pipelines,
440 FTEs for electric power and 365 FTEs for hydropower. Overall,
this was 57 fewer FTEs than than was requested a year ago, the
Commission said, adding that it expected its FERC First
reingineering efforts and IT initiatives would allow it to meet
future challenges with less employees.
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