William McCormick, Chairman and CEO of CMS Energy
Mark Hand is senior editor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
What are CMS' interstate pipelines doing to attract new customers?
We have been increasingly flexible in our FERC tariffs in terms of providing service, and we currently offer hourly services to our generating customers. But we are anticipating amending these tariffs to provide some additional service. Particularly, some customers have requested the ability to balance on the hour. We are currently in the process of designing some tariff services to meet these needs.
How would you assess FERC's current policies toward pipelines?
The FERC has proposed this market affiliate rule that we and a lot of others in the industry see as having a lot of problems because it would hamper the ability to deal with affiliates in ways that could help the customer. In our case, of course, we have an exploration company; we have a field services midstream gathering and processing company. There are lots of examples where, if we had to formalize the relationships with those affiliates, it could really hamper our ability to serve customers, in ways that there really are not risks of any abuse.
We're pleased to see that the FERC has recognized that there are a lot of concerns about their proposed rule and have pulled back a little bit and they're going to take a hard look at what really makes sense and what doesn't.
As a major LNG player, do you still view LNG as an economical prospect in this lower‑price environment?