MPSC requests FERC press interstate natural gas pipelines for lower rates

Published on January 26, 2018 by Chris Galford

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Hoping to help ratepayers capitalize on recent federal tax law changes, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to make interstate natural gas pipeline operators lower their rates.

The crux of the issue is the lowered corporate rates the new federal tax update granted. The MPSC already ordered all 13 rate-regulated utilities in Michigan to report how those savings would benefit ratepayers. After they have that information–utilities have until Feb. 2 to respond–the MPSC intends to respond with updates for ratepayer savings. They now hope to see the change among interstate pipelines as well.

In a letter to FERC, the MPSC requested that these pipelines either voluntarily adjust their rates backdated to Jan. 1 or be investigated for whether their rates are just and reasonable. They also joined letters from the Organization of MISO States and the Organization of PJM States Inc. in regards to how the tax law could affect electric transmission costs for customers.

“The Michigan Public Service Commission contends that such action is in the public interest,” Commission Chairman Sally Talberg and Commissioners Norman Saari and Rachael Eubanks wrote.

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the corporate tax rate saw a dramatic drop from 35 percent to 21 percent, granting large-scale savings for interstate pipeline operators.