2017 Montana Legislature

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HOUSE BILL NO. 269

INTRODUCED BY D. ZOLNIKOV

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REQUIRING NATURAL GAS UTILITIES TO PROVIDE CUSTOMERS WITH A CHOICE OF NATURAL GAS SUPPLIERS; AMENDING SECTIONS 69-3-1401, 69-3-1403, 69-3-1404, 69-3-1406, AND 69-3-1414, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

 

     Section 1.  Section 69-3-1401, MCA, is amended to read:

     "69-3-1401.  Short title. This part may be cited as the "Natural Gas Utility Restructuring and Customer Choice Act"."

 

     Section 2.  Section 69-3-1403, MCA, is amended to read:

     "69-3-1403.  Customer choice. (1) A On or before July 1, 2018, a natural gas utility may voluntarily shall offer its customers a choice of natural gas supplier and provide open access to its transmission facilities, storage facilities, or distribution facilities.

     (2)  If a customer choice offering results in transition costs, the commission may allow those transition costs to be recovered in separate identifiable charges to customers. Upon commission approval, the natural gas utility must have the opportunity but not the obligation to may finance the fixed transition costs and related financing costs using transition cost financing as provided for in 69-8-103 and 69-8-503."

 

     Section 3.  Section 69-3-1404, MCA, is amended to read:

     "69-3-1404.  Functional separation -- code of conduct -- emergency services -- customer protection. (1) Except as provided in 69-3-1413 through 69-3-1416, a natural gas utility that provides customer choice and open access on its system shall:

     (a)  functionally separate its natural gas production and gathering resources from its natural gas transmission, storage, and distribution services and remove natural gas production and gathering resources from the rate base;

     (b)  adopt and comply with commission-approved standards of conduct to be included in a tariff to govern its natural gas transmission, storage, and distribution services; and

     (c)  provide emergency natural gas supply and related services to the extent necessary to maintain the operational integrity of the transmission system as determined by the commission.

     (2)  The commission shall develop standards that protect consumers and natural gas suppliers from anticompetitive and abusive practices.

     (3)  This part does not reduce or otherwise change the authority of the commission to review the prudence of natural gas purchases made by a natural gas utility for its customers that do not have a choice or that have not made a choice of natural gas suppliers or have not been assigned a natural gas supplier."

 

     Section 4.  Section 69-3-1406, MCA, is amended to read:

     "69-3-1406.  Reciprocity. (1) All natural gas suppliers are afforded the comparable opportunity to compete.

     (2)  A natural gas distribution services provider or its affiliates may not use another natural gas distribution services provider's facilities in the state of Montana to sell natural gas to customers in the state of Montana unless the natural gas distribution services provider or its affiliates offer customer choice and open access to their natural gas distribution facilities."

 

     Section 5.  Section 69-3-1414, MCA, is amended to read:

     "69-3-1414.  Acquisition of rate-based facilities. A natural gas utility that provides its customers with a choice of natural gas suppliers pursuant to 69-3-1403 and that does did not own natural gas production and gathering resources on April 1, 2009, may acquire those facilities and place them in the rate base as provided in 69-3-1413 through 69-3-1416."

 

     NEW SECTION.  Section 6.  Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act].

 

     NEW SECTION.  Section 7.  Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.

- END -

 


Latest Version of HB 269 (HB0269.01)
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