FERC has opened an investigation and ordered a hearing to determine if Stagecoach Pipeline & Storage Co. may be substantially over-recovering its cost of service, and also closed proceedings involving more than three dozen other companies.
The issue has been set for hearing before an administrative law judge, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [RP19-439].
At the same time, FERC said it has found 38 gas companies have complied with the filing requirements of Order 849 and terminated their Form 501-G proceedings without any further action.
The investigation and hearing evolved from a NOPR and associated policy statement issued by FERC one year ago in an effort to ensure that ratepayers receive the benefit of tax reductions from reform legislation adopted by the Trump administration in December 2017. The NOPR (RM19-5) required public utility transmission providers with transmission rates under an open access transmission tariff, a transmission owner tariff or a rate schedule to revise those rates to account for changes caused by the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts bill.
The policy statement (PL19-2-000) provided accounting and ratemaking guidance for treating accumulated deferred income taxes (ADIT) for all FERC-jurisdictional public utilities, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines. It also addressed the accounting and ratemaking treatment of ADIT following asset sales or retirements after Dec. 31, 2017.
The first batch of 501-G filings arrived at FERC in October, according to Chairman Neil Chatterjee.
"Over the past five months we've received 129 interstate natural gas pipeline 501-G filings, which have reflected a high level of engagement and effort from industry," Chatterjee said at FERC's monthly meeting in Washington, DC, Thursday. "I appreciate the steps many pipelines and their customers have taken as they work together to build consensus and reach rate agreements to resolve these matters. As a result, we've approved a dozen settlements to date, and we've already taken action in 102 of the 129 proceedings."
Last month, FERC opened another investigation, and closed proceedings involving 20 other companies.