The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided to continue its five-year-old revenue sharing plan for U S WEST Communications, a local exchange telephone carrier, for one year. It...
CGT Suggests New Regulatory Model
In response to a request for comments on negotiated terms and conditions of service, the Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. (CGT) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to model regulatory reforms in the natural gas pipeline industry after recent changes in the regulation of the telecommunications and railroad industries.
CGT said that four events have created a demand for flexible, customized services from natural gas storage and pipeline companies: 1) initiatives by local distribution company (LDC) customers to negotiate new rate models with their state commissions, 2) unbundling of LDC services at the local level, 3) the emergence of power marketing, and 4) ongoing restructuring of the electric industry.
CGT asked the FERC to consider differentiating between basic and enhanced services to allow the market to respond effectively. The FERC would continue to regulate the basic services offered by pipeline companies, ensuring that the costs of service are allocated fairly to all customer classes and that customers receive services and rates on a nondiscriminatory basis. But customers could supplement or replace their basic services by purchasing enhanced services based on their individual needs. The terms and pricing for enhanced services would be negotiated between the pipelines and their customers. According to CGT, this model produced lower costs and better services in the telecom and railroad industries.
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