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THORNBURG ATTACKS GAS PRICING SCHEME

 THORNBURG ATTACKS GAS PRICING SCHEME
 RALEIGH, N.C., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Lacy H.


Thornburg today asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission to repeal its Weather Normalization Adjustment (WNA) charged to natural gas utility consumers.
 "This so-called normalization adjustment is an entirely inappropriate rate-making technique," Thornburg said. "It requires consumers to pay money for receiving nothing. It's a government sanctioned rip-off, and it's wrong."
 The WNA is intended to protect the earnings of natural gas utilities when winter weather is warmer than the 59-year average. Consumers see additional charges on their natural gas bills when they use less gas during a warmer-than-usual winter. "Almost all of this increase falls on residential and small business customers," Thornburg said.
 The extra money goes to the company to keep its revenues higher than they would otherwise be. The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the WNA in the last year's general rate cases for Piedmont Natural Gas Company, North Carolina Natural Gas Company and the Public Service Company.
 "My staff has collected data showing that one natural gas utility will get nearly as much money from the WNA as from the entire rate case increase itself," Thornburg said. "If that's not a case of the tail wagging the dog, I don't know what is."
 Thornburg's petition was filed today with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Commission action is expected after the gas utilities respond to the Attorney General's petition.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: JoAnne Sanford, 919-733-7214 or Lorinzo Joyner, 919-733-6118, both of the North Carolina Department of Justice/ CO: N.C. Department of Justice ST: North Carolina IN: SU:


JZ -- CH011 -- 8805 04/15/92 14:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
Words:276
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