NPGA Asks FERC to Reverse Flow of ATEX Pipeline & Pump Propane

There is a serious, some would say “dangerous” shortage of propane in the northeast, for a number of reasons. The ongoing, brutally cold winter is partially to blame (oh global warming, where are thou? we need thee now!). In what appears to MDN to be a case of sour grapes, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), representing some 3,200 propane companies, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to force the brand new Appalachia to Texas (ATEX) pipeline to quite pumping ethane from the Utica/Marcellus to Gulf Coast and instead reverse the flow and pump propane from the Gulf to the northeast citing the propane shortage as the reason.

Well, it is an emergency, right? Why do we say sour grapes? Because part of the newly online ATEX was an existing pipeline that used to flow south to north and carry (you guessed it)–propane. The NPGA and its members opposed losing that capacity and challenged Enterprise Product Partners, the builder of the ATEX, in court. They lost. So it appears they’re using the current “crisis,” which is partially brought on by high demand from the cold and partially lack of storage capacity, which is the fault of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as an excuse to get the pipeline turned around, at least for a period of time…

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