Daily GPI / NGI All News Access

EEI: Collaboration is Key for 30 Tcf Market

EEI: Collaboration is Key for 30 Tcf Market

Reaching a 30 Tcf gas market will greatly benefit the nation's power market, so it only makes sense that electric utilities should help the gas industry achieve that goal, said Thomas Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute (EEI). Kuhn, speaking yesterday at the Natural Gas Roundtable in Washington D.C., said the convergence between the industries has become such a force that the EEI, whose members generate and distribute roughly three-fourths of the nation's electricity, is planning to take a more active role in helping the gas industry meet its demand.

"It is our goal to have a commitment to a healthy gas industry in respect to helping all segments of that industry build the infrastructure needed to get to the 30 Tcf area so that we (electric companies) can have the long-term arrangements and the long-term stability of supply that we're going to require..."

To that end, the EEI has been extremely active on the policy side to help the gas industry reach the 30 Tcf market, said Andy Katz, senior attorney for the EEI. It filed comments concerning the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) and notice of inquiry (NOI). The EEI supported and Kuhn participated in the conference on Northeast demand, which took place in early June. Katz also said the EEI has lobbied for FERC to loosen restrictions on secondary capacity. "Gas-fired generation is going to be the biggest piece of that 30 Tcf market, so that makes us very active in the gas arena."

Kuhn said collaboration will lead to a more effective policy plan for both industries. It makes sense for industry associations to work together, he said, because they face similar public policy issues such as the environment, Y2K and reliability. Also, electric and gas associations appeal to the same decision-making entities including the Environmental Protection Agency, FERC, the White House and the individual states.

Although rumors emerged earlier this year about a potential merger of the American Gas Association (AGA) and the EEI (See Daily GPI, Feb. 10), Kuhn did not address the issue. He did point to the two associations' relationship, however, as an example of the common ground both gas and electric groups can work together on.

"We're working together on NARUC issues, on Y2K issues and on utility handicapping issues in the individual states...even marketing. [Dave Parker, president of the AGA] and I got our marketing groups together recently to try and find common areas. That would have been heresy a few years ago, but it's happening more and more now."

Katz said talk of a merger "is just talk."

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.

Copyright ©2018 Natural Gas Intelligence - All Rights Reserved.
ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1231
Comments powered by Disqus