For municipal gas buyers, the stars are lined up just right for striking a deal on supply. Low interest rates on municipal bonds and low gas prices have led to a rash of long-term prepaid transactions.
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In a surprise move announced Monday CMS Energy reached southfrom its Michigan distribution base to buy the Panhandle Easternand Trunkline Gas pipeline companies — pipes, storage and LNGterminal — from Duke Energy, solidifying its own supply line tothe Midcontinent and Gulf.
Charging “price gouging” and “a raw abuse of market power”several Midwest utilities and power marketers have asked theFederal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold an emergencyconference to find out what went wrong in the Midwest electricmarket last week that forced some to pay as much as $7,500 MWh.
Cash prices for the last weekend of March appeared to be payingattention to weather fundamentals for a change Friday. Markets inthe West, where it was still cold enough to matter, tended to seegains of 2-5 cents. But east of the Rocky Mountains it was adifferent story as mild temperatures sent prices down by similaramounts.