Looking ahead to what might be the defining issues for his nextterm if his renomination is approved by the Senate, CommissionerWilliam L. Massey focused on FERC’s pipeline certification process,its offshore policy, the issues contained in the gas policy optionspaper – which so far have not been made public – and on ISOs on theelectric side. He said the Commission probably will act on the gaspolicy options paper with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking withinthe next few weeks.

“The issues the paper deals with are issues related to how tocapture greater efficiency in the marketplace. They are issues thathave been around here for some time. I think frankly there isnothing surprising about any of it. The paper deals with issuesrelated to the short-term market, the secondary market, negotiatedterms and conditions of service and so forth.”

But perhaps the most important area the Commission will confrontis how to refine its certification process in the midst of handlingmultiple pipeline projects when there is an ever increasing numberof interventions from landowners and environmental advocacy groups.

“We know that certificating projects is a very important part ofwhat we do, but that job has gotten tougher and tougher over thepast few months and years so the concerns that we have to balanceare important ones. And I think we are trying to figure out how tonavigate the certificate process in a way that ensures that we haveenough pipe in the ground to meet growing need while balancingcompeting concerns,” said Massey. “I think the process has becometougher because those who express environmental concern andconcerns of the landowners have become better organized and morevocal and more politically astute about how they approach theprocess.”

Without any noticeable roadblocks to confirmation, Massey isoptimistic the Senate will allow him to remain on the regulatorypanel until June 30, 2003. “The signals that I have been gettingfrom the Hill are positive, but you know I don’t take anything forgranted. I’m optimistic that the committee will schedule a hearingwithin a reasonable period of time and I’m hopeful that they movemy nomination forward. I’m generally very optimistic about myprospects.”

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