The nation’s largest gas distributor, Southern California Gas,earlier this week signaled a possible future change in the way itscustomers access intrastate transmission during oral arguments atthe CPUC on future changes in California’s gas industry. Inaddition, for the first time, a number of the 19 major participantsin the state’s gas restructuring proceeding suggested a settlementprocess might be adopted to resolve some controversial issues.
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At the end of a week that had mostly signaled price softness,the bottom fell out in the cash market Friday as quotes plummetedby 20 cents or so at nearly all Eastern points. Much like thepreceding days, many Western points proved a bit more resistant tothe overall softness. California border points fell a dime, anddrops on Rockies pipes were mostly in the low to mid teens.
Commissioner Curt Hebert Jr. said a decision in a Granite StateGas Transmission case this week signaled a “radical departure” inthe current policy used by the Commission to judge whether aproposed project has sufficient market demand. Since Order 636, theCommission has required pipelines and other companies to show thatmost, if not all, of a project’s capacity was under long-termcontracts to gain a certificate. “All of that changed [last week],”Hebert told NGI in an interview.