The Colorado Senate last week approved and sent on to the Housea bill to deregulate retail gas distribution in the state. Thebill’s sponsor, Sen. David Owen, R-Greeley, said he expects thelegislation (SB 99-153) to pass this year.

Senate approval followed an amendment that removed language thatwould have allowed utilities to recover 100% of their strandedcosts from ratepayers. Should the bill become law, the state’sPublic Utility Commission would have oversight of stranded costrecovery. Among those participating in negotiations for theamendment were Public Service Co. of Colorado, KN Energy, and EnronCorp, as well as producers and pipelines. Gas deregulationlegislation failed last year due to fears it would boost consumers’rates. A government panel is studying electricity deregulation.

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