Standards of Conduct INGAA Request for Clarification and/or Rehearing 11-17-08

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) appreciates the Commission’s Final Rule in this proceeding, Order No. 717, Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers, 125 FERC ¶ 61,024 (October 16, 2008). As the Commission intended, the standards governing the relationship between interstate pipelines and their affiliated marketers are clearer and more focused on areas where there is potential for abuse. There are, however, a limited number of issues that require clarification or rehearing to preserve the lawfulness of the Commission’s Final Rule. Accordingly, pursuant to Rules 207 and 713 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR §§ 385.207 and 385.713, and Section 19(a) of the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. § 717r(a), INGAA respectfully requests clarification or, in the alternative, rehearing.  

Specification of Errors

 1. To the extent that the Commission’s Standard of Conduct rules adopted in Order No. 717 are intended to apply to the relationship between an interstate natural gas pipeline and employees of affiliates that engage in marketing functions but do not conduct transmission transactions with that affiliated pipeline, the rules are unexplained, lack record support, and exceed the Commission’s authority under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 717-717w. 2

2. The Commission failed to give notice and opportunity for comment on its newly adopted "equal access" General Principle at § 358.2(d). Moreover, the new principle is inconsistent with the Transparency rules under § 358.7 that it is designed to summarize, and in terms of all the information that may be required to be disclosed under the General Principle, is overly broad and inconsistent with the "undue discrimination" and "undue preference" provisions of the NGA.

3. The Commission eliminated exemptions for balancing transactions by pipeline affiliates without an adequate explanation.