The currently one-member Wisconsin Public Service Commission issoon to be restored to full three-commissioner status. Thecommission has been down to one member, Joe Mettner, since May 15when Chair Cheryl L. Parrino stepped down. Previously, Dan Eastmanleft his commission post April 30.
Articles from Public
Retail gas marketers won a major victory yesterday when aGeorgia Public Service Commission hearing officer ordered AtlantaGas Light’s unregulated marketing affiliate to “immediatelydiscontinue” the use of the name Atlanta Gas Light Services (AGLS)and stop referring to its heritage, reliability and trustworthinesswith respect to its affiliation with the state’s largest gasutility.
The Public Utility Commission of Ohio made it possible yesterdayfor 1.8 million retail gas customers in more than 64 Ohio countiesto begin choosing gas suppliers this winter. PUCO approved a hugeexpansion of Columbia Gas of Ohio’s pilot program and extended thepilots of Cincinnati Gas & Electric and East Ohio Gas.
The Pennsylvania Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Chester, PAMayor Aaron Wilson Jr. to the state Public Utility Commissionreplacing Commissioner John Hanger and effectively ending thatstate’s leadership toward substantive electric and natural gasderegulation. Only a handful of senators opposed the nomination.
TransCanada PipeLines created limited partnership TransCanadaGas Processing LP and is offering units to the public. TransCanadaholds various ownership interests in five gathering and processingfacilities and all related agreements in Alberta and Saskatchewan.With offering proceeds, the partnership will acquire an indirect75% interest in the facilities, while TransCanada will retain theremaining 25%. After 20 years, TransCanada will reacquire thefacilities at their fair market value for cash or shares ofTransCanada. “TransCanada will recapitalize these Canadian gasprocessing investments in a very efficient manner and investorswill receive attractive returns and tax treatment,” saidTransCanada CEO George Watson.
Minnegasco received approval from the Minnesota Public UtilitiesCommission (MPUC) for a fixed-rate pilot program scheduled to beginNov. 1 in Mankato and North Mankato, MN. The program offers about12,700 residential and 1,600 commercial customers the option ofbeing billed a fixed rate for gas for one year. If successful, theprogram could be expanded to other communities served byMinnegasco.
The battle over the next gas distribution frontier is continuingin Maine with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) grantingBangor Gas Co. unconditional authority to provide gas distributionservice to five municipalities in the greater Bangor area. BangorGas, a joint venture of Bangor Hydro and Energy Pacific, iscompeting for market share in the area with CMP Natural Gas, ajoint venture of Central Maine Power and New York State Electric& Gas. Both projects are intended to provide new gas serviceonce Maritimes and Northeast comes on line in November 1999.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) quickly approved aproposal by MichCon to implement a three-year plan to offer its 1.2million residential and commercial gas customers the opportunity toselect alternative natural gas suppliers. The plan also cuts andfreezes gas costs for customers who stay with MichCon as their gasprovider.
FERC has scheduled a public conference for April 15-16 toexamine the future of ISOs in administering the electrictransmission grid on a regional basis. The Commission isconsidering whether policy changes are necessary “in order topromote competition and reliability in bulk power markets.”