New construction, pricing power, safety, environmental impacts, and other aspects of pipeline operation are all highly regulated. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates many aspects of interstate gas transmission pipeline operations, including approval, permitting and siting for new pipeline facilities (largely an assessment of the public need for a project versus its landowner and environmental impacts), as well as transmission rates that pipelines are permitted to charge for interstate shipments.
Below is a comprehensive list of major rules, orders and policy statements made by the FERC.
Order 678 (Market-based Storage)
FERC liberalized its market-power analysis to permit consideration of close substitutes to gas storage in defining the relevant product market.
PL04-3 (Policy Statement on Gas Quality and Interchangeability)
FERC has established 5 principles to regulate gas quality and interchangeability issues.
Order Nos. 2004 and 497 (Pipeline/Affiliates “Standards of Conduct”)
FERC Order Nos. 2004 and 497 adopted “standards of conduct” to regulate natural gas pipelines’ interactions with their marketing affiliates.
Order 637 (Pipeline Transportation Regulations)
Order 637 amended FERC’s regulations governing the provision of unbundled pipeline transportation service.
PL04 Order 636 (the Restructuring Rule—Mandatory Unbundling)
Order 636 required interstate pipelines to separate their sales and transportation services and to provide equal, open-access transportation regardless of where the gas is purchased.
PL04 Order 436 (“Open Access” Pipeline Transportation)
Order 436 initiated the restructuring of interstate pipelines from merchant sellers and transporters of gas into transportation only businesses.
For a more comprehensive list and description of FERC gas orders, see: www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngmajorleg/keyferc.html