July 1, 2001
L.A. Loves a Loophole
There's no getting around it...
Gas LDC to Unbundle
While authorizing Northern Utilities, Inc., the sole instate natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to contract with an affiliated company to provide storage capacity and services, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has directed the utility to file an unbundling tariff proposal that includes transportation, load-balancing, and third-party merchant services.
Under the approved supply arrangement, Granite State Gas Transmission, Inc. will provide storage capacity and service from a liquefied natural gas facility in Wells, ME. The PUC rejected a proposal from another affiliate, Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, to construct pipeline facilities and serve the LDC's capacity needs under a 20-year contract. The PUC said that the pipeline capacity contract would subject ratepayers to the costs of substantial excess capacity. Re Northern Utilities, Inc., Dkt. No. 95-480, Aug. 9, 1996 (Me. P.U.C.).
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