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U.S. Justice Department cautions energy regulators on natural gas market-disclosure rules

Feb 04 2013 Reuters

Regulatory changes that would force natural gas companies to report market-specific information could harm competition and raise prices for consumers if it were publicly disseminated, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a letter to energy regulators on Friday. The DOJ responded to a U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) November call for comments on possible changes to gas market transparency as set forth in the Natural Gas Act, under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The FERC is examining whether natural gas market participants should report "detailed transaction-specific information regarding every natural gas transaction that entails physical delivery for the next day or the next month." The last week of each month in the natural gas market is known as "bid week" when prices are set for physical contracts. Should such information get into the public domain, it may induce coordination among suppliers and potentially leave consumers open to higher prices, the

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