FERC approved the divestiture-sale of most of the non-nucleargeneration assets of New England Power Co. (NEPCO) and NarragansettElectric Co. to USGen New England Inc., an unregulated subsidiaryof PG&E Corp.
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Customer choice for all Pennsylvania natural gas customers couldbecome an option within the next few months, and the law thatemerges from the months of statehouse wrangling could add directionto unbundling activities in other states.
The way FERC figures pass-through of costs in oil pipeline ratecases could hamper future use of converted lines, according toCommissioner Linda T. Key Breathitt, who issued dissenting opinionsin two oil pipeline cases involving Rio Grande and LonghornPartners Pipelines [OR97-1-001 and OR95-7]. In both cases theCommission ruled that the companies would not be allowed to passthrough the full purchase price of the pipelines, only thedepreciated original cost of the line. “In an area where Congresshas asked us to exercise regulatory restraint we turn around andapply textbook principles in a manner that may discourage futureconversions of oil pipelines to new uses,” Breathitt said. Theorders examine the corporate relationships between the companies toarrive at the conclusion that the companies are selling assets tothemselves. But Breathitt believes arguments about corporate tiesin these cases don’t apply. She was joined by Commissioner CurtHebert.