A group of eight trade associations representing a broad spectrum of the natural gas industry and consumers today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) not to expand natural gas reporting requirements.
The joint filing was made in response to FERC’s Notice of Inquiry issued November 15, 2012, seeking comments on a proposal to further facilitate price transparency in the natural gas markets by requiring all market participants engaged in sales of wholesale physical natural gas in interstate commerce to report quarterly every natural gas transaction within the Commission’s jurisdiction.
The groups involved in the joint filing include: the American Forest & Paper Association, the American Gas Association, the Gas Processors Association, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Natural Gas Supply Association, the Process Gas Consumers Group and the Texas Pipeline Association.
The trade associations argued that FERC’s proposal to expand the reporting requirements would not improve – may actually harm – transparency. The groups also argued that the proposal could undermine greater confidence in natural gas price formation and unfairly impose burdens on a limited portion of the natural gas market.
According to the trade associations, because FERC does not have jurisdiction over all wholesale natural gas sales, its proposal would capture only a portion of the market. The sales that would be reported may not be representative of the broader market and may provide a false sense of what is occurring in the marketplace.
The trade associations were also concerned that the public dissemination of detailed transaction information would put reporting parties at a competitive disadvantage to the detriment of natural gas consumers. As stated in the joint filing, “the disclosure of commercially sensitive information simply cannot be applied to some market participants and not others without creating the potential for competitive harm.”
Through the filing the trade associations urged the Commission to reconsider its approach and not move forward with the proposal in the Notice.