Butterfield Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Protect Natural Gas Ratepayers
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Congressman Billy Long (MO-07) introduced the Protecting Natural Gas Consumers from Overcharges Act of 2020. The bipartisan bill aims to protect natural gas consumers, residential and industrial, from overpaying for their use of natural gas. The bill amends the National Gas Act to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to set a refund effective date and order a refund when an interstate pipeline is found to be overcharging for its services. FERC currently has these authorities under the Federal Power Act to order refunds from interstate electric utilities when they determine overcharges have been made.
“Natural gas customers in eastern North Carolina and across the country deserve to pay fair rates for the natural gas they use, and they deserve the same federal rate protections as consumers that use electricity, said Congressman Butterfield. “I am proud to introduce the Protecting Natural Gas Consumers from Overcharges Act of 2020 to ensure families and businesses in my congressional district don’t overpay for the natural gas they use.”
“Under current law, if FERC determines a natural gas distributor has charged an unreasonable fee for their services, natural gas consumers do not have the ability to recoup any money, said Congressman Long. “In Southwest Missouri, utilities that use natural gas to power people’s homes work to provide affordable and reliable energy to their customers. The Protecting Natural Gas Consumers from Overcharges Act gives FERC the proper authority to order refunds for over-collections from pipeline distributors which will allow consumers to recoup any funds that were overcharged. I believe in holding companies accountable and putting constituents first, which is why I am proud to cosponsor this legislation. I am proud to work with Rep. Butterfield on bipartisan, commonsense legislation to reduce energy costs for natural gas consumers.”
The Protecting Natural Gas Consumers from Overcharges Act of 2020 has the support of:
The American Public Gas Association, American Forest and Paper Association, American Public Power Association, Arcelor Mittal, Cargill, Eastman Chemical, Industrial Energy Consumers of America, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Natural Gas Supply Association, and Nutrien.