Skip to content

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., wants answers from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding natural gas price differences.

"It's hard for me to understand why it took the agency more than a month to respond to my letter and when I finally received a response it was to say they did not have jurisdiction over the matter," Enzi said.

In an Oct. 15 letter, Enzi asked FERC to look into discrepancies between the prices paid to natural gas producers in Wyoming and the subsequent increased cost for that same gas in outside markets. Gas sold in the Rocky Mountain region this summer was bringing as much as 75 percent less than in other parts of the country.

In a Nov. 26 letter to Enzi, FERC said it no longer has jurisdiction over prices paid to producers for natural gas.

"I would like FERC to worry less about an excuse and help us find out what is going on so we can solve this problem," said Enzi. "Since I first brought up the differential, the prices have risen. I would like to know if it's protective response or coincidence."

Enzi wrote a Dec. 3 letter to FERC Chairman Pat Wood, III, making it clear Enzi would like FERC to perform an investigation.

"Your agency does have jurisdiction over pipelines and gas transportation tariffs. As such, I feel it would be imperative for you to review the situation in Wyoming to see if any regulated activity is affecting market prices or production," Enzi wrote. "If prices are incorrectly reported - and there have been several indications of fraudulent under-reporting since I wrote you - then it is possible you will need to investigate this situation to ensure you are watching out for the federal interest in this matter. Please review your original response to my request and consider whether or not any current pipeline management or other regulated activity is contributing to the price differential of gas in Wyoming."

Enzi also planned to followup on his letter with a personal meeting with FERC officials.

A copy of Enzi's Dec. 3 letter follows

December 3, 2002

Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 1st Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20426

Dear Chairman,

I am disappointed in your response to my letter of October 15th. While I acknowledge your agency does not regulate well head prices, your agency does have jurisdiction over pipelines and gas transportation tariffs. As such, I feel it would be imperative for you to review the situation in Wyoming to see if any regulated activity is affecting market prices or production. If prices are incorrectly reported - and there have been several indications of fraudulent under-reporting since I wrote you - then it is possible you will need to investigate this situation to ensure you are watching out for the federal interest in this matter.

Please review your original response to my request and consider whether or not any current pipeline management or other regulated activity is contributing to the price differential of gas in Wyoming. I would appreciate being informed of any new information you discover on this important issue.

Sincerely,


Michael B. Enzi
United States Senator
MBE:ds