ENERGY BRIEFS

ENERGY BRIEFS

COURT ALLOWS BYPASS

OF MICH. GAS UTILITYThe Supreme Court allowed a Michigan steel company to buy natural gas from an interstate pipeline and bypass the local utility.

The Court rejected an appeal by Michigan regulators, which claimed that they had the right to prohibit such bypasses in their state.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had granted permission to Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. to build a line leading directly to a National Steel Corp. factory. By using that line and bypassing Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., National says it is able to save $10 million in fuel costs.

MISS. LOSES BID TO CUT

SHARE OF NUCLEAR COSTS

WASHINGTON - The State of Mississippi lost a bid to reduce its share of the cost of the Grand Gulf nuclear plant.

The Supreme Court Monday rejected the state's challenge of a cost-sharing formula worked out by the plant's owner, Middle South Utilities Inc. These costs were passed along to ratepayers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, the four states where Middle South operates.

Mississippi argued that it is using only 15 percent of the power from the new Grand Gulf unit, but is still being charged for 33 percent of its cost.

The cost-sharing formula, approved by federal regulators, considers the four-state Middle South system as a whole. Even though Mississippi consumers received a minor share of the new plant's power, they further benefited indirectly because Grand Gulf freed up power from elsewhere in the Middle South system, according to papers filed by FERC.