Tighter EPA Soot Standard Could Complicate Underground Construction

September 2012, Vol. 67 No. 9

The other change almost all the witnesses advocated for was elimination of the differential in gas excise tax for liquid natural gas versus diesel fuel. Currently, the effective excise tax for LNG is $0.41 per diesel gallon equivalent versus $0.243 for diesel fuel. This is because LNG has a lower energy density per gallon than diesel, but the tax is applied on a volume (gallon) basis rather than an energy equivalent basis. This discrepancy has been corrected for CNG, but not for LNG, and provides an unfair disincentive to the sale of LNG. McCurdy said this could be corrected in the "tax extenders" bill Congress is expected to pass after the November election. The bill would renew certain tax incentives which have expired.

New business standards for interstates

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been focusing on assuring better integration of natural gas supply with natural gas-fueled electric utilities, and issuance of new business practice standards for pipelines is another step in that direction. The standards were issued in July, and go into effect on Dec. 1, 2012. They are based on Wholesale Gas Quadrant standards adopted by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).

The Version 2.0 Standards revised the Version 1.9 standards to include: (1) standards to support gas-electric interdependency; (2) standards created for Capacity Release redesign due to the elimination of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for Capacity Release Upload information; (3) standards to support the Electronic Delivery Mechanism (EDM); (4) standards to support the Customer Security Administration (CSA) Process; (5) standards for pipeline postings of information regarding waste heat; and (6) minor technical maintenance revisions designed to more efficiently process wholesale natural gas transactions.