May 20 2014
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, pressed two nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about, Boston-based hedge fund, ArcLight’s plans to abandon the Midla Pipeline during a full committee hearing today.
Sen. Landrieu pressed the nominees and said that, “ArcLight’s plans to abandon a pipeline that has served nine parishes in Northeast and Central Louisiana would effectively end affordable natural gas services to these parishes that are sparsely populated and relatively poor.”
She pointedly asked both nominees: “Do you agree that it is a violation of the Natural Gas Act public interest standard to abandon a pipeline and effectively strand the affected customers with no service, or unreasonable terms of service?”
Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur responded saying, “I certainly believe that when we get an application to abandon, we have to make sure the customers are protected in their services and rates.”
Last month, FERC announced that it would not grant a shortened, 10-day review timeline requested by the hedge fund ArcLight in its efforts to abandon the Midla pipeline. FERC more than doubled the original request by ArcLight, from 10 days to 22 days, after Sen. Landrieu wrote to FERC objecting to the shorten timeline request.
On Feb. 25, 2014, Sen. Landrieu met with Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, State Senator Robert Adley and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland to hear their concerns about ArcLight’s plans to abandon the pipeline. Sen. Landrieu sent an initial letter to FERC raising concerns about the proposal that affects customers in Franklin, Catahoula, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Concordia, West Feliciana, East Feliciana and East Baton Rogue Parishes. Read the letter here.