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July 20, 2007
Comments on FERC Gas Price Reporting NOPR

FERC proposed revisions to its regulations intended to facilitate market transparency in natural gas markets that would: (a) require daily posting of some natural gas flow information by intrastate pipelines; and (b) require annual filings by buyers and sellers of natural gas in U.S. wholesale markets (that transact more than de minimis volumes) of aggregate annual purchase and sale information. The latter proposal is meant to, “permit the annual estimate of (a) the size of the physical domestic natural gas market, (b) the use of index pricing in that market, (c) the size of the fixed price trading market that produces price indices from the subset reported to index publishers, and (d) the relative size of major traders.”

NEM submitted comments on the proposed rulemaking urging that the promotion of natural gas market transparency can be achieved with a voluntary price reporting regime. NEM requested that the Commission clarify that retail transaction data is not intended to fall within the scope of the proposed reporting requirements and is exempt. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website. Other commenters offered similar and related suggestions. In its comments, AGA suggested that, "reported transactions should be limited to physical natural gas transactions at wholesale and in interstate commerce consistent with the Commission’s statutory authority, and should not include retail sales or volumes transported for others under retail choice programs." Similarly, NGSA requested that FERC clarify the definition of "market participant" subject to reporting requirements such that, "it will be clear that not every physical buyer or seller of natural gas must file an annual report, which is the implication of the current market participant definition, but rather that such reports must only be filed by market participants who are transacting at wholesale and in interstate commerce above the de minimis level."

Workshop on Gas Price Reporting NOPR

FERC Staff will hold a workshop on the implementation of the Commission's gas price reporting NOPR. The workshop will be held July 24, 2007, from 9:30AM to 3:30PM in Meeting Room 3M-2A&B at the Commission's Washington, DC headquarters. The workshop will be organized into two sessions. The first session will focus on implementation of the rulemaking proposal that intrastate pipelines post flow and capacity information on a daily basis. The second session will focus on implementation of the rulemaking proposal to collect aggregated annual data from buyers and sellers of physical natural gas. The full text of the Notice of Workshop is available on the NEM Website.

Conference on Enforcement Authority

FERC issued an initial notice of a conference to be held on its enforcement authority as expanded by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The conference will be held November 16, 2007, at the Commission's Washington, DC headquarters. Additional information pertaining to topics and panel composition will be forthcoming. The full text of the Notice of Conference is available on the NEM Website.

FERC Action on Corporate Review and Prevention and Cross-Subsidies

At its agenda meeting today, FERC issued a series of orders to clarify its merger and corporate review policies as well as to increase the prevention of cross-subsidization between utilities and non-utility affiliates. The Commission issued a policy statement to provide guidance on its future implementation of Section 203 of the Federal Power Act which was expanded under EPAct to include review authority for certain holding company mergers and acquisitions and certain public utility acquisitions of electric generating facilities. The Commission also issued a proposed rulemaking that would, "codify cross-subsidy pricing restrictios on power and non-power goods and services transactions between franchised public utilities with captive customers and their market-regulated power sales affiliates or non-utility affiliates." Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due thirty days after publication in the Federal Register. Finally, the Commission issued a proposed rulemaking under which a public utility, with prior FERC authorization, could dispose of less than ten percent of its voting securities to a public utility holding company, if after the disposition, the holding company and any associate company will own, in the aggregate, less than ten percent of the public utility. The full texts of the Orders will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

NYISO Status Report on Netting Bilaterals Project

NYISO filed another status report with the Commission pertaining to its implementation of a Netting Bilaterals Project. NYISO reports that it has completed its draft Concept of Operation. The concept is similar to PJM's eSchedules function for internal bilaterals. Stakeholder comments have been solicited on the concept review. Next, NYISO will start its cost benefit analysis to be used in preparation of the 2008 budget. Then, the concept will be brought before the Business Issues and Management Committees and the Board of Directors for review and disposition. The full text of NYISO's Status Report is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Commission Approves Keyspan Interim Energy Efficiency Programs

The Commission approved a Joint Proposal providing for Keyspan NY (KEDNY) and Keyspan LI (KEDLI) to implement interim energy efficiency programs, that will begin August 1, 2007, prior to the 2007-08 winter. The signatories commit to working toward development of non-interim programs to go into effect when new rate plans are adopted for the utility. KEDNY and KEDLI are authorized to spend $10 million and $5 million, respectively, on the interim programs. Fifteen programs were included in the JP, such as a low-income residential program, a residential weatherization program, a residential Energy Star products rebate program, commercial programs to encourage installation of energy savings measures and high-efficiency heating systems, and a multi-family housing program. The full text of the Order Approving the JP is available on the NEM Website.

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Technical Conference on FirstEnergy Competitive Bidding Process Proposal

FirstEnergy filed for Commission approval of a competitive bidding process (CBP) to procure supply for its Standard Service Offer (SSO) electric customers to be applied beginning in January 1, 2009. FirstEnergy proposes two CBP alternatives for consideration. One approach would solicit bids on a load class basis. The other approach would solicit bids on a slice of system basis. A technical conference has been scheduled to discuss the filing on August 16, 2007, in the Commission's Hearing Room 11E. The hearing examiner noted that a procedural schedule would be established at a later time. The full text of FirstEnergy's CBP Proposal (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) is available on the NEM Website. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is also available on the NEM Website.

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