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AGA Favors Pass-Through of Discounted Charges to AMAs, Marketers

A major natural gas utility group Wednesday called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require interstate pipelines to permit the pass-through of discounted or negotiated usage and fuel charges to both asset managers and retail-choice marketers.

"Requiring the pass-through is important to prevent original customers from paying more than they otherwise would have paid," said the American Gas Association (AGA).

"Additionally, requiring the pass-through is consistent with the intent of FERC's new capacity release rules to accommodate and facilitate the implementation of asset management arrangements [AMAs]." Under AMAs, which are a recent development in the gas industry, parties manage gas supply and delivery arrangements for other entities, such as gas utilities.

The Commission in at least two pending cases is examining the issue of whether it would be unduly discriminatory for a pipeline to deny an asset manager replacement shipper the same discount of its usage charge as provided to a releasing shipper (see Daily GPI, Feb. 11).

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, which represents interstate pipelines, has urged FERC to address these issues in a generic way rather than in individual pipeline proceedings. "Regardless of how FERC chooses to proceed, AGA urges FERC to act expeditiously to resolve the issues," the gas utility group said.

"The full benefits to natural gas consumers resulting from the kinds of transactions promoted in FERC's new capacity release rules should not be unduly delayed."

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