Lawmakers look to expand natural gas

Photo credit: Aaron Butler

By Jenna Neeley

Lawmakers are still trying to make natural gas more available throughout the state, particularly in areas where resident have been unable to afford it. Legislators, in conjunction with the Public Service Commission, hope to complete the two-year initiative this legislative session.

Questar Gas employs such expensive gas line rates that they prohibit many people in rural areas from using natural gas, said Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe.

The announcement of a proposed natural gas bill, a draft bill titled Funding for Natural Gas Lines, has caught the attention of Questar Gas; which is working the Utah Public Service Commission is working to settle this issue privately in hopes of avoiding having to pass legislation to solve the issue.

A change in how Questar Gas charges rural residents for natural gas would potentially increase infrastructure development in rural areas allowing small start-up businesses who need natural gas to be able to attain it more affordably.

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