El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
El Paso Corporation Comments on Procedural Action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
HOUSTON, TEXAS, December 19, 2001
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued an order sending a narrow issue to Chief Administrative Law Judge Curtis L. Wagner Jr. for review. In a ruling last October, Chief Judge Wagner recommended dismissal of the portion of the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) complaint alleging that El Paso Corporation (NYSE:EPG) exercised market power. In its latest action, FERC asked Chief Judge Wagner to consider, on an expedited basis, a limited issue that was raised by the Commission's Market Oversight staff after the evidentiary proceeding had been concluded.
"Given the high level of publicity that this case has engendered, it is not surprising that FERC seeks to ensure that every question raised has been answered," said Peggy Heeg, General Counsel of El Paso Corporation. "The sole issue to be examined in this limited hearing is whether El Paso Natural Gas pipeline company fully complied with the regulations to make all of its capacity available for interruptible service during the winter of 2000-2001. We are confident that Chief Judge Wagner will reconfirm his conclusion that El Paso Natural Gas fully complied with FERC's regulations by making its capacity available."
In his October decision, issued after six weeks of evidentiary hearings and extensive post-hearing briefings, Chief Judge Wagner concluded that no action on the part of El Paso Natural Gas or El Paso Merchant Energy caused high natural gas prices in California during 2000 and 2001. The Chief Judge further found that the evidence demonstrated that "El Paso Pipeline's capacity was used at an extremely high load factor" and that El Paso Pipeline did in fact comply with FERC regulations that require that pipeline capacity be made available.
El Paso Corporation is committed to meeting energy needs throughout the United States and the world, with operations that span the energy value chain from wellhead to electron. El Paso Corporation is involved in every segment of the natural gas industry, including production, gathering and processing, and transmission. The company also provides merchant energy services, international project development, energy financing, and power generation. El Paso is focused on speeding the development of new energy sources to address critical energy shortages across the globe. For more information, please visit www.elpaso.com.