As it remains ambivalent about importing new liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies, California faces increased competition from other parts of the nation in obtaining adequate future gas supplies and it can expect the prices to be higher in years to come. That is one of the key conclusions in the latest draft of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), which was recently released for public review.

The 260-page document repeats past assertions that LNG will help “supplement conventional supply sources and help stabilize prices.”

Although the thrust of the IEPR is focused on climate change and the power industry’s response to it, the CEC made a half-dozen recommendations for natural gas that are sure to cause debate among regulators, lawmakers and energy companies. Some of them are:

Natural gas continues to provide about one-third of California’s energy requirements, and it will be challenging to maintain these levels, the report said.

The CEC said the draft reflects the input of stakeholders and federal, state and local agencies that participated in the IEPR proceedings.

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