The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) isexpected to file a comprehensive plan today asking FERC to exertlighter handed regulation over all pipeline facilities in the Gulfof Mexico.

The plan, which will be included in INGAA’s response to theCommission’s May 13th notice of inquiry on offshore pipelineregulation, calls for FERC to revise its policy statement onoffshore gathering lines and to implement its light-handed,complaint-based authority under the Outer Continental Shelf LandsAct (OCSLA) over all offshore facilities – whether they be owned bypipeline companies or producers. The pipeline proposal contrastssharply with that of natural gas producers, which favor FERC’scontinued use of its Natural Gas Act (NGA) authority over OuterContinental Shelf (OCS) facilities.

INGAA President Jerald V. Halvorsen contends that FERC’s policy,which uses “restrictive” tests to decide between jurisdictional andgathering, has created a lopsided regulatory system thatdiscourages the use of existing, regulated interstate pipeline inthe Gulf.

“Disparities in regulation put interstate pipelines at asignificant disadvantage in competing for new offshore business,”he said. “There has been a drastic fall in the interstatepipelines’ share of the offshore market, even as the Gulf is seeinga boom in offshore development. Regulation has been drivingdevelopment in the Gulf far too long. Federal offshore policyshould let economics do the work.”

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