FERC intends to pursue several strategies over the next fiveyears to facilitate gas pipeline development and “get gas whereit’s needed most,” the Commission said in a draft strategic planfor fiscal years 2000-2005. One of its most important objectives isto “foster a regulatory environment that facilitates theresponsible development of transportation capacity to meetpotential increase in market demand for natural gas to 25 Tcf in2005 and 30 Tcf in 2010,” the draft stated.

FERC noted it already has vowed to process cases moreexpeditiously. Over the next few years it intends to reducecompletion time targets. It also intends to expand the way apipeline can show market need for proposed facilities, shiftingfrom relying mostly on precedent agreements and contracts to “otherevidence of market need.” It has shown greater deference to marketneeds by changing its preference to incremental from rolled-inrates.

To speed up certificate processing, the Commission also intendsto increase the availability of information regarding new projectsand rate changes to the industry and other affected parties, suchas landowners. The Commission said during this year and next itwill initiate and “outreach program” for prospective certificateapplicants, customers, competitors and other potentially interestedparties to “introduce the use and benefits of best practices andcollaborative discussions.” Results will be used to develop andongoing outreach program.

The draft also stated FERC’s intentions to increase reliance onelectronic filings and information technology, and minimizeenvironmental impacts of new pipeline construction by inspectingmitigation efforts prescribed in certificate authorizations. To geta copy of the draft visit FERC’s web site athttps://www.ferc.fed.us/public/strategic/strategicplan.htm

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