Funding for natural gas and oil pipeline regulation was the bigwinner in FERC’s budget for fiscal year 2000, according to theagency’s budget request.

The Commission asked for $70.5 million for gas and oilpipelines, which is 40% of its overall FY 2000 budget request of$179.9 million. The budget request submitted to Congress last weekwas up 7.8% over the $167.5 million that FERC sought for FY 1999.

FERC earmarked $56.6 million for electric power regulation in FY2000, and $42.7 million for hydropower. Funding for electricaccounted for about 32% of the budget request, while funding forhydropower represented 29%.

The proposed increase in the budget was owing to three factors:$6 million for mandatory salary and benefits raises of 5.5%, aone-time cost of $2 million for FERC First, and $5 million forimprovements in information technology (IT), the Commission said.

In its budget proposal, FERC sought a reduced level of full-timeemployees (1,320) for FY 2000 – 515 FTEs for gas and oil pipelines,440 FTEs for electric power and 365 FTEs for hydropower. Overall,this was 57 fewer FTEs than than was requested a year ago, theCommission said, adding that it expected its FERC Firstreingineering efforts and IT initiatives would allow it to meetfuture challenges with less employees.

Susan Parker

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