Here it is: provider of last resort.
That's what those wacky natural gas folks are calling the marketing company that gets to provide gas at a regulated price to the customers who've been shut off by all the other marketers because they can't or won't pay their gas bills. The company provides gas as a last resort, get it?
It's a safe bet that the natural gas bill the General Assembly passes this year will establish a provider of last resort.
All this means is that there'll be somebody to hook us up with gas if we're cut off from our contracted marketer because of nonpayment. For the marketers themselves, it means guaranteed customers and a set profit margin.
Now, the battle is over who will get to be that provider and how the provider will be selected.
Sen. David Scott, D-Atlanta, was going to name Atlanta Gas Light as the provider of last resort, but thanks to intense lobbying by other marketers, he amended his bill to allow for a bidding process among all the marketing companies.
Now, Rep. Jimmy Skipper, D-Americus, is working on a bill that would name Georgia Power as the regulated natural gas provider for the state, a move that all the marketers and AGL are trying to block.
Representatives from the marketing companies met with the governor for about an hour Jan. 17, and hinted to him that they'd rather leave Georgia than compete with Georgia Power.
"It was not stated, but it was implied," says a lobbyist who didn't want to be named. "No one would want to threaten the governor, but he knows."
As CL went to press, lobbyists for gas marketers were working overtime to keep Skipper's bill from naming Georgia Power as the provider of last resort.
"There's a move afoot by the marketing community to develop our own bill," the lobbyist says. "Hopefully, the consensus will develop Wednesday or Thursday. That's not to say we won't wind up in an irrational position again, but right now we're at a much more reasonable place than we were on Thursday (Jan. 17)."
^ ^ ^ ^ Broch, the above post is so full of inherent contradictory "logic"…
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