Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. INT-G-10-01, Order No. 31036

April 27, 2010

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712

Website: www.puc.idaho.gov

 

Utility seeks clarification about third-party sellers of natural gas

 

Intermountain Gas is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to issue a declaratory order stating the commission does not have jurisdiction over the resale of natural gas by non-utility third parties.

 

Intermountain Gas claims it has been approached by entities wanting it to sell them natural gas for the purpose of reselling it to others, primarily for use as compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicle fleets.

 

Intermountain Gas is seeking assurance from the commission that it would not consider the utility in violation of state law or tariff provisions if it were to sell to third parties for resale to vehicle fleets. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 may restrict the commissionís jurisdiction over the resale of natural gas for transportation purposes, Intermountain Gas claims.

 

Intermountain Gas also raises liability concerns regarding third-party resellers. The company asks that the declaratory order include a statement that the commission will continue to regulate the safety of natural gas facilities operated by Intermountain, but only to the point where Intermountainís facility or pipeline connects to a buying customerís metering device. In this way, Intermountain Gas may not be held liable for what happens when its product is resold by third-party entities.

 

Intermountain anticipates other potential resale transactions may be proposed by other entities due to the price, availability and environmental benefits of using natural gas as a transportation fuel. Some Western states, including Washington, Utah and Wyoming, permit public CNG fueling stations.

 

Intermountain proposes to sell natural gas to resellers using its existing tariff rates.

 

The commission is taking comments regarding Intermountainís application through May 6. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commissionís homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (INT-G-10-01) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.

 

A full text of the commissionís order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commissionís Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on ďFile RoomĒ and then on ďGas CasesĒ and scroll down to the above case number.