CONSUMERS ENERGY FILES MOTION TO PROTECT 1.7 MILLION GAS CUSTOMERS; PROTESTS TRUNKLINE GAS CO.’S PIPELINE ABANDONMENT REQUEST; MICHIGAN FILES OWN MOTION IN SUPPORT OF CUSTOMERS
Jackson, Mich. Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Consumers Energy filed a motion today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) protesting a proposed “abandonment” filing made by Trunkline Gas Co. to cease transporting natural gas through one of its two main transmission pipelines serving Michigan.
The filing made by Trunkline Gas Co. to cease transporting natural gas through one of its pipelines was also opposed in separate filings by Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Public Service Commission.
More than 60 percent of the natural gas supplied to Consumers Energy’s 1.7 million customers located in 45 Lower Peninsula counties is delivered by Trunkline’s gas transmission pipelines.
Based on concerns about reliability, as well as potentially exposing customers to higher costs, Consumers Energy’s motion seeks denial of Trunkline’s application. For example, in very cold weather, natural gas customers could see service curtailed if Trunkline’s sole remaining pipeline to Michigan experiences operational problems. If Trunkline’s request is not denied, Consumers Energy urges FERC to conduct a comprehensive evidentiary hearing on Trunkline’s request.
“Trunkline’s proposal, if approved, will significantly reduce existing natural gas service flexibility and necessary reliability to Consumers Energy customers and will result in higher costs,” said John Russell, president and chief executive officer for Consumers Energy.
“Our natural gas customers deserve continued strong reliability from Michigan’s main interstate pipeline supply provider. Further, Consumers Energy is lowering its customers’ heating bills, and customers should receive the benefits of those savings. They should also be protected from unnecessary cost increases resulting from proposed actions by an interstate gas pipeline supplier that limits access to abundant and attractively-priced domestic gas supplies,” said Russell.
Governor Snyder filed his own motion opposing the Trunkline plan. In the filing, he called this issue “vital to energy supply and reliability in Michigan, with major ramifications for the ability to heat Michigan’s homes at an affordable price.”
Consumers Energy’s motion notes that Trunkline’s request to abandon 770 miles of Trunkline’s existing looped gas transmission pipeline, and convert that line to transport crude oil, would reduce its gas transmission service to Michigan to a single pipeline. The impact of this would be an almost 40 percent reduction in Trunkline’s mainline capacity, raising concerns about the supplier’s ability to meet its minimum pipeline delivery requirements. The docket number for Consumers Energy’s motion is: CP12-491-000.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit our Website at www.consumersenergy.com
Media Contacts: Dan Bishop, 517/788-2395 or Jeff Holyfield, 517/788-2394