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WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF ADVOCATES NATURAL GAS POTENTIAL

 WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
 ADVOCATES NATURAL GAS POTENTIAL
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- White House Deputy Chief of Staff W. Henson Moore, who just assumed his White House post after being Deputy Secretary of Energy for three years, told a natural gas conference today that "state and federal regulators must work together more closely to assure a vibrant future for natural gas."
 Moore spoke from the White House via broadcast satellite to the three-day conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Phoenix that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Association of State Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC).
 The impact of state regulation is a focus of the conference, attended by nearly 500 representatives from all sectors of the natural gas and electric utility industry. A primary goal of the president's National Energy Strategy is to advance the use of natural gas because it is a clean-burning, abundant, domestic energy resource.
 Moore was the keynote speaker. Other scheduled speakers included Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, who just assumed Moore's responsibilities at DOE, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Martin Allday and NARUC Chairman of the Natural Gas Committee Frank O. Heintz. Stuntz was unable to attend the conference due to the press of her new duties, but her speech was presented by one of her staff.
 The conference was organized by Moore while he was Deputy Secretary of Energy because of concerns raised about impediments to greater utilization of natural gas caused by state gas and electric regulation. In drawing together state public utility commissioners and a cross-section of the natural gas and electric industries, DOE and NARUC hope to examine how state and federal regulations and policies could be better coordinated to reduce barriers to the use of natural gas.
 Moore said that as "an abundant, clean and versatile domestic energy resource, natural gas is the preferred energy source in polls of the American people ... " and is " ... a cornerstone of President Bush's National Energy Strategy."
 But he cited existing problems in the industry that are stifling the natural gas market, including persistent uncertainties about the adequacy of gas supplies and excessive regulation at the state and federal level.
 As federal regulation of the natural gas industry has diminished since the mid-1980s, the role of the states has increased. Therefore, said Moore, the purpose of the conference is for all parties to examine existing problems and to assess what changes can be made, particularly at the state level, to enable the natural gas industry to operate more efficiently and competitively.
 He noted actions being taken at the federal level as a result of the National Energy Strategy, such as: regulatory reform of FERC regulation, especially to expedite construction of new pipelines; increasing the number of natural gas vehicles in the U.S. government fleet and lowering institutional barriers to their use; undertaking a number of studies to assess the natural gas resource base and constraints to greater use of natural gas; and developing a natural gas strategic plan for research and development, including a request to almost double the amount spent on gas research in DOE's proposed budget for 1993.
 -0- 2/3/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Keif of the U.S. Department of Energy, 202-586-5806/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU:


MH -- DC019 -- 6313 02/03/92 16:08 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1992
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