INGAA is preparing comments in response to FERC’s January notice proposing permanent standards of conduct governing the relationship between transmission providers (both pipeline and public utility) and their affiliates. (FERC’s proposal responds to the court decision in National Fuel Gas, which vacated Order 2004.) As far as pipelines are concerned, FERC’s proposal largely tracks its interim rule, which purports to retreat to the pre-Order 2004 regime, which governed marketing affiliates but not the broader category of “energy affiliates” (e.g., affiliated gathers, producers, and LDCs to some extent). In the permanent rules, however, FERC proposes to cover a category of “asset manager” affiliates not previously identified.
INGAA’s comments will likely track the position set out in our pending request for clarification and rehearing of the interim rule (see February Board Bulletin), in which we support the retreat to the narrower pre-Order 2004 scope of the rule, but argue that to accomplish that generic goal FERC has to make further changes. With respect to “asset managers”, INGAA’s comments are likely to urge that coverage be limited to those that sell gas and control capacity. Comments are now due March 30. We anticipate substantial challenges to FERC’s decision to retreat from “energy affiliate” regulation, but will have an opportunity to help defend that position in reply comments now due April 30.