Review of FPC and FEA Actions in Assessing the Impact of Natural Gas Curtailments during the Winter of 1976-77

EMD-77-12: Published: Jan 13, 1977. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1977.

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GAO was asked to examine whether there would be shortages of natural gas in the winter of 1976-77 and the need for gas curtailments, their effects, and what could be done to reduce their impact.

As the Federal Power Commission (FPC) and the Federal Energy Administration (FEA) were working on this question, GAO did not think its independent assessment was necessary. Questions remain concerning Federal agencies' ability to respond to emergency fuel shortages. The probability of problems arising could be minimized if the two agencies worked more closely in planning the work to be done and the data to be obtained. Such planning would assure that the needed data would be available at the critical decisionmaking points. The effectiveness of the FPC hearings with gas pipeline companies on gas curtailment issues would be enhanced if FEA staff personnel would participate.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Chairmen of the two agencies should issue a joint memo that delineates their respective tasks, particularly in formulating contingency plans arising from shortages, and cooperate in data collection and dissemination. Their personnel should have unrestricted access to this data. FEA should participate in FPC hearings on gas curtailments.

    Agency Affected:

 

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