Julia Sullivan Speaks to SNL Financial on Pipeline Capacity, FERC

SNL Financial, for its article “Attorney cautions power generators as pipeline capacity cushion grows smaller,” interviewed Akin Gump energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice co-head Julia Sullivan on a variety of topics related to energy distribution, among them:

  • The need for new gas pipeline capacity: “Depending on what your opinion is about whether the cold weather we've experienced this winter is an anomaly or the new normal, either way the need for additional infrastructure is pretty clear.”
  • The status of proposals in New England to develop new capacity: “The proposals that we're seeing that seem to be most viable currently would be for the [regional transmission organization] to buy long-term firm and release it to generators short-term. It would basically be the RTO signing up for long-term capacity to support the reliability of the electric grid.”
  • Weighing export and domestic consumption needs: “I would not expect [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] to be less welcoming of infrastructure that will support exports than infrastructure that will support domestic end users.”
  • Jurisdictional issues and the Barclays suit against FERC: “I can certainly understand why FERC feels that this case cuts more closely into its jurisdiction. But you still have the fundamental challenge, which is FERC trying to regulate a financial market and [the Commodity Futures Trading Commission] has exclusive jurisdiction over financial markets.”
  • Norman Bay, Obama nominee for FERC head: “[He has become] familiar with all of the nuts-and-bolts issues that are important to the industry today. Reliability has been a significant focus of his, whereas [former FERC Chairman Jon] Wellinghoff's primary focus was bringing renewables onto the grid, both very important objectives.”

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