SoCalGas Files Final Settlement Proposal to CPUC
Once again up against a regulator-imposed deadline, Southern
California Gas on Monday is expected to file its latest attempt at
a final, all-parties settlement in California's never-ending
natural gas industry restructuring, which has been dragging on for
more than two years.
This will be at latest and fourth proposed settlement given to
the California Public Utilities Commission, if the large gas LDC
makes its filing as it indicated to parties on Friday that it
would. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has proposed two settlements
related to balancing and other issues on its system, and SoCalGas
earlier filed an interim settlement proposal, which is designed to
be effective through next year. The final settlement would become
effective in 2002, running through Sept. 1, 2006.
SoCalGas was scrambling last week to get as many of the almost
75 stakeholders in the settlement talks to sign on to the proposed
One of the key goals of regulators has been to have a gas
transmission and storage system statewide that was more uniform
between the north-south systems of PG&E and SoCalGas, but one
of the major stumbling blocks in the discussions has been the
aspects of the southern transmission pipeline system that are
unique to the southern half of the state.
At the 11th hour in the review process late last week, PG&E
expressed concerns about the details of how designated primary and
secondary receipt points are treated on the SoCal transmission
system, particularly those receipt points for PG&E's system and
the Kern/Mojave interstate pipeline.
Included in the proposed final settlement are new receipt points
at Hector Road in the high desert west of the Arizona border and
the OXY point near Wheeler Ridge and the Kern County area. PG&E
expressed last-minute concerns about the market not being allowed
to determine who gets primary access rights as a means of ensuring
that SoCal does not over-sell these rights at any given receipt
point which would eliminate chances for interruptible rights to be
Richard Nemec, Los Angeles
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