Federal Regulatory Issues and Advocacy
AGA advocates on behalf of its member natural gas distribution utilities before Federal agencies in the area of energy market regulation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates wholesales sales, transportation and storage of natural gas in interstate commerce. AGA members purchase these services from interstate pipelines regulated by FERC, and some AGA members provide interstate services and are directly regulated by FERC for part of their operations. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates commodity exchanges and financial and derivative transactions related to commodities, including natural gas. Many AGA members use financial transactions, both exchange-traded and over-the-counter, to hedge volatility in the cost of providing natural gas service. The AGA FERC Regulatory Committee implements the AGA's policy priorities in the area of energy market regulation, including formulating responses to FERC and CFTC regulatory initiatives.
Natural Gas and Electric Interdependence
With the restructuring of the electric industry to a more competitive, non-vertically integrated energy market and the growing number of gas-fired electric power generation plants, the U.S. natural gas and electricity markets have become increasingly interdependent. Growing attention is being paid by regulators and industry to the gas-electric integration issue and to concerns over the reliability of energy delivery.