Landrieu Calls on FERC to Continue Pressing ArcLight on Plans to Abandon Midla Pipeline Documents reveal ArcLight's 'blatant regulatory gamesmanship at the expense of its customers.'
ArcLight sharply reduced maintenance budget in years leading up to abandonment proposal.
Company attempted to push pipeline safety oversight agency to take its side in FERC inquiry.
Read the full letter
FERC sent Midla pipeline two sets of detailed data requests concerning the abandonment proposal, one on
"After reviewing the information submitted to FERC by Midla in response to its data requests, it is apparent that the company is engaging in blatant regulatory gamesmanship at the expense of its customers,"
Under ArcLight's proposal, homeowners' monthly utility bills could double. In order for ArcLight to move forward with its plans to abandon the Midla pipeline, the proposal must be approved by FERC.
In its response to FERC, Midla attempts to sidestep the issue by claiming "the decline in total maintenance as disclosed in our Annual Form No. 2-A during 2010 through 2013 as compared to 2009 and prior is a difference in classification in certain operation and maintenance expense by the previous owner."
Midla's responses to FERC's data requests also reveal an attempt by Midla to convince PHMSA to send a letter to FERC supporting Midla's safety claims. Fortunately, PHMSA ultimately decided not to send such a letter to FERC.
A series of Midla emails indicate that Midla had numerous contacts with PHMSA staff trying to convince them to send a letter expressing safety concerns in support of abandonment but not take any safety regulatory action against Midla.
"These emails speak for themselves and reveal a cynical effort by Midla to use the safety issue as a tool to force the abandonment of the Midla pipeline,"
Later that month, during an Energy Committee hearing at which Commissioner LaFleur was testifying,
The following day, FERC announced that it would not grant the shortened, 10-day review timeline (http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/?p=pressrelease&id=4365) requested by ArcLight.
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