WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Bill 2792
By Delegates Anderson, J. Kelly, Zatezalo, Boggs, Criss, Reynolds and Mandt
[Introduced March 01, 2021; Referred to the Committee on Energy and Manufacturing]
A BILL to amend and reenact §24-2-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the expansion of direct access to natural gas service for new customers and allowing existing natural gas utility customers to have direct access to natural gas service if the end user expands its service in the amount of 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per year or more; allowing this direct access for end users without the permission, consent, control, review, or input of the Public Service Commission; requiring the Public Service Commission to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section no later than July 1, 2021.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
§24-2-20. Direct use of natural gas.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds that:
(1) Consumers of natural
gas with an annual gas usage of at least 100 million cubic feet are
sophisticated users of natural gas capable of choosing their source of natural
gas supply (2) (1) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has
approved bypass of local utilities and permitted construction of interstate
pipeline facilities to serve end use customers; (3) (2) The production and use of West Virginia
natural gas in West Virginia will provide jobs for West Virginians, generate
additional income and property taxes for our governments and our law and
regulations should not impede use of West Virginia gas in West Virginia; (4) (3) The ability of large natural gas
users to choose among gas suppliers without regulatory supervision will save
economic resources, foster competition in this state, and may induce new
businesses to locate in West Virginia and employ West Virginians; and (5) (4) Commission approval of natural gas service
is unnecessary for new consumers of natural gas with an annual gas
usage of at least 100 million cubic feet or for existing consumers who
wish to expand annual gas usage of at least 25 million cubic feet.
(b) Notwithstanding any
other provision of this code to the contrary, any person, entity, or a facility
that has not previously been a natural gas utility customer as of May 1,
and has a projected annual natural gas usage in West Virginia of
at least 100 million cubic feet annually or any existing natural gas
utility customer as of May 1, 2021, who has a projected annual increase of its natural
gas usage in West Virginia of at least 25 million cubic feet, may receive
natural gas service from any person, corporation, limited liability company, or
other entity without the permission, consent, review, or input of the
commission if the using person or entity notifies the utility providing natural
gas service in the area of use of its intent to receive service from a
nonutility and certifies to the commission that: (i) The utility has been
notified; (ii) its projected annual gas usage will be at least 100 million
cubic feet per year for existing natural gas utility customers only, the
projected annual gas usage will increase at least 25 million cubic feet per
year; (iii) it desires to receive natural gas from a supplier other than a
public utility; (iv) it will receive natural gas produced in West Virginia; and
(v) the name and West Virginia tax identification number of the supplier or
suppliers are identified in the certification. Provided, That the
natural gas provider bills the customer and the customer pays for at least 100
25 million cubic feet during each full calendar year after the utility
has been notified, except in the event one or both of the contracting parties
experiences a force majeure event or a condition beyond their reasonable
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, no person, corporation, limited liability company, or other entity shall be or become a public utility, intrastate pipeline, common carrier, or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the commission from or in connection with purchasing, using, selling, giving, buying, providing, transporting to or from, or otherwise supplying or using natural gas pursuant to subsection (b) of this section: Provided, That this subsection shall not prevent or impede the commission’s safety regulation of natural gas pipelines pursuant to chapter 24B of this code.
(d) If a utility has an obligation to offer or provide service to an end user who elects its own supply pursuant to this section, the obligation shall terminate upon the commission’s receipt of a certification provided by this section.
(e) The Public Service Commission shall promulgate rules to effectuate the goals and purposes of this section no later than July 1, 2021.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow new customers of natural gas, as of May 1, 2021, to receive direct access from natural gas supplies and to modify the ability of existing customers to receive direct access to natural gas service if the end user expands its existing service of 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per year or more.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.