Due to hundreds of customer complaints that Atlanta Gas Light(AGL) is over-billing, Georgia’s Public Service Commission (PSC)will vote on Jan. 5 to determine whether a hearing should be heldto examine re-regulating the state’s gas industry, the PSC toldNGI. If the commission decides a hearing is necessary, it will beheld Jan. 26 with a decision to come shortly thereafter.
Articles from Public
CPUC’s Hands are Tied on Restructuring Issues
The California Public Utility Commission yesterday decided toleave Southern California Gas Co.’s interstate transportation ratesbundled, determining that a state law passed last summer preventsthe commission from taking any action on gas industry restructuringissues until the year 2000.
NY Requests Comments on Stranded Costs
New York Public Service Commission issued a notice last weekseeking comments on how “strandable” gas capacity costs createdwhen existing sales customers migrate to transportation serviceshould be recovered from customers. Interested parties should filetheir comments by Dec. 14.
Ohio Customer Choice Programs Reach New Heights
The Ohio Public Utility Commission reported that 280,000 retailconsumers are buying gas from alternative suppliers, a 25% increasesince September. The percentage of eligible customers participatingin the three utility customer choice programs has risen to 21%(34,644 residential and small commercial customers) on East OhioGas, 8% (30,979) on Cincinnati Gas & Electric and 17% (216,900)on Columbia Gas. In total, 24,127 commercial customers and 258,396residential customers are participating.
Elizabeth Anne “Betsy” Moler, former deputy secretary of theU.S. Department of Energy and chair of the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission, is leaving the public sector for privatepractice at a major law firm. Moler will become a partner and serveas co-chair of Vinson & Elkins LLP’s electric power practice. AtVinson & Elkins, Moler will focus on the restructuring of theNorth American power industry and on the increasing role ofcompetition in the gas business, both areas where she has played amajor role while in government. “I hope to put my 30 years ofgovernment experience to good use advising private sector clientsas they chart a course through the challenges posed by anincreasingly competitive business environment. Virtually all of myprofessional experience has been in the energy area, so Vinson &Elkins, with its large and varied energy practice, seems like aperfect fit for me.” Moler played a significant role in FERC’sdevelopment and implementation of Order No. 636 and was chair ofthe FERC when it issued its Order No. 888, which opened thenation’s electric transmission grid. Vinson & Elkins has 580lawyers with more than 175 involved in various aspects of itsenergy practice. The firm has offices in Austin, TX; Beijing,Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Singapore, andWashington, D.C.
The Supreme Court last Tuesday rejected a petition for writ ofcertiorari filed by the California Public Utilities Commission(CPUC) and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) after the partiesfailed to meet the deadline. The petitioners, which filed forreview on Nov. 5, missed the deadline by three days. The CPUC andSoCalGas had asked the high court to review a 1996 FERC decision -upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals two years later – thatthey claimed amounted to a “power grab” of California’sjurisdiction by the federal agency.
Front Runner on Hold as Front Range Starts
The alliance of Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCo) andColorado Interstate Gas (CIG) have launched the operation of their53-mile, $25 million Front Range Pipeline stretching from theWyoming border south to Platteville, CO, and effectively haltingdevelopment of a competing 109-mile Front Runner Pipeline, proposedby Denver-based KN Energy.
National Fuel to Offer All Its PA Customers Choice
National Fuel has filed an application with the PennsylvaniaPublic Utility Commission to begin a system-wide customer choiceprogram starting in April. The program would be a major expansionof the company’s current Energy Select pilot in Mercer County, inwhich 19,700 retail gas customers were allowed — actually forced– to choose alternative suppliers beginning in June 1997. Theexpanded program would offer a choice of suppliers to 210,000customers in National Fuel’s 14 county service territory. It alsowould include some significant differences from the Energy Selectpilot.
National Fuel to Offer All PA Customers Choice
National Fuel has filed an application with the PennsylvaniaPublic Utility Commission to begin a system-wide customer choiceprogram starting next April. The program would be a major expansionof the company’s current Energy Select pilot in Mercer County, inwhich 19,700 retail gas customers were allowed – actually forced -to choose alternative suppliers beginning in June 1997. Theexpanded program would offer a choice of suppliers to 210,000customers in National Fuel’s 14 county service territory. It alsowould include some significant differences from the Energy Selectpilot.
High Court Review Sought of FERC v. State Rights
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and SouthernCalifornia Gas (SoCalGas) petitioned the Supreme Court last week toreview the nettlesome issue of where does FERC’s jurisdiction endand the states’ jurisdiction begin.