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FERC refutes claim against New England energy firms

Staff report
February 27. 2018 11:57PM




A staff inquiry by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yielded no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity on the Algonquin Gas Transmission by New England shippers, the commission said Tuesday, adding it will take no further action on the matter.

Last year, the Environmental Defense Fund in a white paper accused local gas distribution companies in New England — including Eversource — of engaging in practices to withhold pipeline capacity on the system in order to drive up prices.

“Staff determined that EDF’s study was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions about the alleged withholding. Commission staff found no evidence of capacity withholding,” the commission said in a news release.

Earlier Tuesday, Eversource said an analysis conducted by energy consultants Levitan & Associates had reached the same conclusion.

“We spent several months analyzing the allegations made by EDF and have identified critical areas where they failed to account for the basic principles underlying Eversource’s obligation to its customers,” said president and principal of Levitan & Associates Inc., Richard Levitan, in a statement.

“Namely, that the company is required to have sufficient gas resources on hand to address weather fluctuations, back-stop delivery failures by third-party suppliers, and meet other demand uncertainties so that customers do not suffer the loss of gas supply during the coldest periods,” Levitan said.


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