Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2015) – Today, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) sent a letter to Chairman Whitfield (R-Ky.) of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ken) and Ranking Member Rush (D-Ill.) to correct the record on user fees in response to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s (INGAA) testimony on the subject at the July 14 oversight hearing on pipeline safety.
The following statement can be attributed to APGA President & CEO Bert Kalisch.
“APGA is concerned that statements made by INGAA in its testimony mischaracterized the facts. Specifically, in regards to:
1. A claim that the Department of Transportation (DOT)/Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is engaged in “advocacy” for a change in the user fee structure. There is no public statement from DOT/PHMSA to support such a claim.
2. A claim that DOT/PHMSA supports any change in the current user fee structure. PHMSA's position on the current user fee structure has not changed from the position communicated in a letter sent to Congress in 2008 in which PHMSA expressly supports the current user fee structure. Such an unsupported claim may give Congress the false impression that DOT is supportive of a change in the current user fee structure.
3. A claim that a large block of “users” are not paying the user fee. Interstate pipelines "pay" the user fee in a manner identical to how K-Mart "pays" the sales tax. K-Mart "collects" the sales tax from the customer in the transaction in a manner identical to how an INGAA member "collects" the user fee from its customers as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee-approved rate that includes the user fee. We are very concerned about the impression such a distorted characterization would make on members of the committee if this claim were to be left unchecked.
“Congress should not alter an efficient and equitable user fee system based on the misrepresentations of INGAA’s testimony. APGA will continue to protect the interests of natural gas customers around the country.”
A copy of the correspondence can be found at www.apga.org/news-correspondence and attached.
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