Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1996

Massey Urges Self-help for Pipeline Decontracting

Speaking at the American Gas Association's Natural Gas Roundtable in Washington, DC, on February 13, FERC Commissioner William L. Massey called on parties within the natural gas industry to resolve the problem of decontracting (capacity turnback) on natural gas interstate pipelines. Nevertheless, he offered a bit of help from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

For its part, said Massey, the FERC will remain flexible, as shown by its order allowing Natural Gas Pipeline Co.

People

Carter T. Funk was promoted to v.p.-business and operations services at Consolidated Natural Gas Co. He moves up from v.p.-asset acquisition and resource development at CNG Energy Services.

Marian M. Davenport was promoted to v.p., general counsel, and secretary for Destec Energy, Inc. She replaces Stephen R. Wright, who retired.

Central and South West Corp. has elected Jim Ellis, chairman and CEO of SEEBOARD plc, to its board of directors.

C&SW Sub First to File Under Telecom Act

CSW Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Central and South West Corp., has become the first company to file at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to become an "exempt telecommunications company" under the telecommunications reform legislation signed into law by President Clinton. Previously, CSW was barred from entering the telecommunications market by the Public Utility Holding Company Act.

Mailbag

Forecasts Send ROEs Wide of the Mark

In a recent "Offpeak" ("Forecasting is Just That," Jan. 1, 1996, p. 54), David Foti and Clay Denton report data showing the percentage of error found in various seven-year forecasts of natural gas prices (1988-94) produced by the American Gas Association (A.G.A.), Energy Information Administration (EIA), DRI/McGraw-Hill (DRI), Gas Research Institute, and WEFA Group. These errors ranged from approximately 50 to 95 percent.

Courts May Interpret Transmission Rights

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has declined jurisdiction in a dispute between Montana Power Co. and Puget Sound Power & Light Co. over a firm purchased-power contract and the seller's obligation to exert "best efforts" to secure necessary firm contractual rights to transmission service to complete the firm power transaction. The FERC prefers that the matter be heard in the federal district court in Montana, where related litigation is already pending.

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