More oversight wanted on propane pipelines

June 13, 2012 By    

Most industries would prefer less regulatory oversight under most circumstances. But in one rare development regarding propane pipelines, NPGA urged the marketers who attended last week’s Propane Days in Washington, D.C., to ask for more regulatory oversight when they sat down with senators and representatives as part of the event.

NPGA’s goal is to pressure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reinforce regulation of propane pipelines.

“Some may not want more regulation on propane,” says Phil Squair, NPGA’s senior vice president of public and governmental affairs. “But the regulation we want is not on drivers; it’s on supply.”

The request stems from rates climbing more than 50 percent since FERC instituted rules in 1995 allowing pipelines to automatically index their rates. In one 2012 instance, for example, NPGA launched a protest against Enterprise TEPPCO’s proposed changes to its tariff governing shipments of propane and other NGLs, filed with FERC.

“A 3 percent hike is one thing,” says Joe Buschur, owner of McMahan’s Bottle Gas in Dayton, Ohio, and a Propane Days participant. “A 130 percent hike is something totally different.”

NPGA urged Propane Days participants to ask Congress to send an NPGA-produced letter to FERC, raising objections to the light-handed regulation. NPGA also wants House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton and Senate Energy Chair Jeff Bingaman to ask for a U.S. Government Accountability Office investigation of light-handed regulation to be initiated.

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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