News Briefs

Settlement, If Approved, Would Lower East Tennessee’s Rates 3 percent

Mark Reishus
August 9, 2019 at 11:44:58 ET

On Aug. 8, 2019, Andrea McBarnette, a FERC Administrative Law Judge presiding over proceedings involving East Tennessee Natural Gas LLC’s (East Tennessee) natural gas pipeline rates, certified to the Commission an uncontested settlement filed on May 23, 2019.

FERC Trial Staff filed comments in support of the settlement. “The Settlement reflects thoughtful and reasoned negotiations undertaken by all participants in good faith to address the issues presented in this proceeding. Ultimately, the Settlement resolves the investigation of East Tennessee’s rates initiated by the Commission. Moreover, the Settlement is a reflection of the balanced nature of the compromises reached. The Settlement rates reflect a 3 percent decrease in East Tennessee’s monthly transportation rates for East Tennessee’s customers. The customers will have the benefit of this rate decrease for at least an 18-month period, from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Additionally, the Settlement preserves issues in this rate case (such as the preservation or elimination of preexisting accumulated deferred income taxes balances) for resolution in East Tennessee’s next general [Natural Gas Act (NGA)] section 4 rate case, which East Tennessee intends to file by June 30, 2020. In sum, the Settlement represents a compromise to facilitate disposition of this NGA section 5 proceeding in anticipation of a new general NGA section 4 rate case. The Settlement will avoid duplicative litigation in the two rate proceedings, and represents a fair and reasonable resolution of the issues in this proceeding.”

FERC Trial Staff urged the Commission “to approve the settlement, without modification or condition, as fair and reasonable and in the public interest.”

See ¶501: Cost-Based Rates for more information on FERC’s review of natural gas pipeline rates.

East Tennessee Natural Gas LLC, Certification of Uncontested Settlement, 168 FERC ¶63,009 (2019) (J. McBarnette) [Docket Nos. RP19-63-000, RP19-63-001 and RP19-64-000].