Industry Briefs

FERC yesterday upheld its March decision on remand in which it disclaimed jurisdiction over a four-mile, six-inch line of KN Wattenberg Transmission LLC that serves two industrial customers in Fort Morgan, CO. The Commission asserted jurisdiction over the lateral in a November 1997 ruling, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit remanded the decision two years later. Last March, FERC vacated its controversial decision upon acknowledging that the line met the qualifications for a Hinshaw exemption and, therefore, was subject to regulation by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Piedmont Natural Gas has signed a formal agreement to purchase a gas distribution system serving 5,100 customers in Gaffney, SC, from Atmos Energy for $5.8 million. Atmos operates its United Cities Gas subsidiary in the Gaffney area. Piedmont has announced that it will continue to maintain a local Gaffney office and retain existing United Cities' employees. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the year. Piedmont serves about 660,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Carolinas and in Tennessee. It is the second largest gas utility in the Southeast behind Atlanta Gas Light.

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