Friday, March 19, 2010

Pennsylvania PUC sees bigger role in Marcellus pipeline regulation

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Public Utility Commission wants to clarify its role in regulating natural-gas collection and gathering pipelines in the Marcellus Shale region.
Century-old regulations need to be revised because of the explosion of Marcellus gas drilling in the state, the commission said. Also, the PUC's partner state and federal regulatory bodies are revising their roles, forcing the commission to survey the landscape.
The commission will hold a hearing on April 22, to solicit comments from invited representatives from special-interest groups and the industry.
Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The state commission's role over intrastate pipelines can be ambiguous.
In a statement, the commission cited the cultural and economic impact of shale exploration.
"This development will unleash billions of dollars of natural gas production and will have untold impact on our economy," the statement said. "However, this development creates numerous issues and unanswered questions, many of which impact this commission's core functions. We believe that these issues need to be examined and these questions answered sooner rather than later."

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