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Briefs -- Cascade Natural Gas | Puget Sound Energy | XTO Well Explosion

Citing the recently enacted federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,  staff at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has recommended that Cascade Natural Gas Co. reduce overall retail utility rates by $6.8 million, or 3.1%, regarding a pending general rate case. The state has scheduled three public hearings regarding the Kennewick, WA-based utility's $5.9 million, or 2.7%, rate increase request. The three-member regulatory panel is scheduled to make its decision this summer with new rates expected to take effect Aug. 1.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission plans public hearings on integrated resource plans (IRP) for Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) natural gas and electric utility service. The 20-year resource plans are filed every two years; PSE filed plans in November. Written comments may be submitted to the commission through Feb. 22. 

An XTO Energy Inc. well in Ohio caught fire and exploded on Thursday. More than 20 workers were reportedly on site at the time, but no injuries were reported The ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary was completing one of four wells on the pad. The other three were shut-in during those operations. According to media reports, the well was still spewing natural gas and water on Friday. Wild Well Control Inc. was on scene. Residents living within one mile of the Schnegg pad in Belmont County were evacuated and had not yet received authorization to return on Friday. Wells on the pad are permitted for Utica Shale production, according to state records. 

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