FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dave Schryver, President and CEO
Phone: (202) 464-0835
APGA Applauds NARUC for Passage of Resolution Supporting Natural Gas Act Refund Reform
Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2020) – The American Public Gas Association (APGA) expresses its appreciation and support for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) recent adoption of a resolution supporting passage of federal legislation amending the Natural Gas Act (NGA). This legislation would make the NGA consistent with the Federal Power Act so that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may order refunds when it has been proven that consumers were overcharged by an interstate pipeline.
APGA President and COE Dave Schryver issued the following statement:
“APGA supports NARUC’s recognition of the inequity between the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act in FERC’s consumer protection authorities. Under the Federal Power Act, if a rate complaint is filed and FERC later rules that transmission rates paid by the customers were unjust and unreasonable, FERC has the authority to make a just and reasonable rate effective to when the complaint case began. That means customers receive refunds, including interest, of the overcharges that persist during the lengthy rate inquiry.
“FERC does not have the same authority under Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act. If FERC finds that interstate pipeline transmission rates are too high, it can only change rates prospectively. This means FERC does not have the authority to order interstate pipelines to refund overcharges. There is no good reason to treat gas and electric consumers differently, as natural gas consumers have been overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars by regulated interstate pipelines annually. APGA looks forward to working with NARUC and a host of other natural gas consumer groups towards the passage of legislation to fix this inequity and provide natural gas consumers with the protection they deserve.”
APGA is the national association of municipally and publicly-owned local distribution systems. There are about 1,000 public gas systems serving more than 6 million customers. These public gas utilities are not-for-profit retail distribution entities that are owned by, and accountable to, the citizens they serve. They include municipal gas distribution systems, public utility districts, county districts, and other public agencies that have natural gas distribution facilities.
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