PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION. Chief Judge D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District Court in Maine, decided to allow Portland Natural Gas Transmission System access to electric transmission corridors owned by Central Maine Power Co. The access will be used to install a natural gas pipeline.
Portland received FERC approval Sept. 24 for installing and operating a 292-mile, $302-million interstate pipeline. CMP owns about 70 miles of the electric transmission corridor. The preliminary injunction, issued April 10, gives Portland access to property on CMP-owned transmission corridors.
"While we are disappointed that this matter had to be resolved through litigation, we are very pleased with the court's timely and comprehensive decision in our favor," said Michael A. Minkos, Portland president.
REFUND SUITS. Ratepayers filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court to recoup $300 million they allege Entergy Corp. overcharged them. The lawsuit claims Entergy failed to comply with franchise ordinances passed in 1922, permitting operation of an electric monopoly in New Orleans and limiting profits to 7.5 percent annually. Since 1975, ratepayers claimed, Entergy has earned returns from 8.33 to 21 percent. Ratepayers want all earnings greater than 7.5 percent to be refunded.
ARIZONA ELECTRIC COMPETITION. The Arizona Supreme Court refused to hear challenges to the Arizona Corporation Commission's authority to establish electric industry competition.