FERC on Aug. 23 denied Pioneer Transmission‘s request to shorten the comment period in its settlement agreement with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO).
The commission on Aug. 21 had granted the shortened comment period, after which it rescinded it on Aug. 22. Pioneer Transmission had requested the shortened comment period on Aug. 20, when it filed its settlement agreement.
A spokesperson for FERC said the commission had granted Pioneer’s shortened comment period request before becoming aware of a protest to it.
“Once the motion in opposition to the shortened comment period was made known, the decision was made to rescind [FERC’s approval],” the spokesperson said. “It was a whole timing thing, because no one had seen that before the first order went out.”
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) and Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) on Aug. 21 filed their opposition to Pioneer Transmission’s request, arguing they were not given advance copies of the request and that, given other demands on their schedules, they would not have sufficient time to review the settlement agreement.
She added that a single protest is not necessarily sufficient for FERC to deny a shortened comment period; rather, it depends on whether the protest makes a compelling case.
Pioneer is a joint venture between American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK).
NIPSCO is a subsidiary of NiSource (NYSE:NI).