FERC should approve a request by Trunkline Gas Co. to abandon by sale 770 miles of its gas transmission system for conversion to crude oil service over the objection of protesters whose "doomsday scenarios [are] designed to lock in the status quo, despite ample demonstration that the status quo is not consistent with the overall public interest," the pipeline told the Commission in a filing Friday.

In July Trunkline asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization to abandon close to 770 miles of looped mainline by sale to an affiliate to be designated by its parent, Energy Transfer Equity LP, for conversion to oil service. If Trunkline's request is approved, it would cease gas transportation through one of its two pipelines serving Michigan (see Daily GPI, Aug. 30).

"...[T]he facilities to be abandoned are not needed to enable Trunkline to meet its current firm transportation commitments," the pipeline said in its response to protesters [Docket No. CP12-491].

"Trunkline's natural gas delivery capacity into the state of Michigan will remain the same both before and after the proposed abandonment; no shipper is willing to take firm capacity at tariff rates; sufficient capacity will remain post-abandonment for Trunkline to meet all of its firm contracted-for capacity, thus ensuring continuity of service; the facilities serving Trunkline's core market area north of Tuscola, IL, to the Michigan border will continue to be served by looped facilities; no change will occur to the capacity of any receipt or delivery point on the Trunkline system; [and] no shippers will experience any change in service or harm in terms of quality of service."

The Michigan Public Service Commission has asked FERC to reject Trunkline's application or schedule a technical conference to consider what market impacts it might have.

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