RALEIGH, North Carolina, Oct. 11 (TNSsro) -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued the following order excusing witnesses (Docket No. G-9):
In the Matter of Application of Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc., for Annual Review of Gas Costs Pursuant to N.C.G.S. Sec. 62-133.4(c) and Commission Rule R1-17(k)(6)
ORDER EXCUSING WITNESSES, ACCEPTING TESTIMONY, CANCELING EXPERT WITNESS HEARING, REQUIRING PROPOSED ORDERS AND REQUIRING RESPONSES TO COMMISSION QUESTIONS
BY THE PRESIDING COMMISSIONER: On August 2, 2021, Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (Piedmont), filed the testimony and exhibits (testimony) of Todd Breece, Jeffrey Patton, and MaryBeth Tomlinson in the above-captioned docket involving an annual review of Piedmont's cost of gas.
On August 11, 2021, the Commission issued a Scheduling Order that, among other things, scheduled a public hearing in the docket for an in-person hearing starting at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, October 11, 2021.
On September 30, 2021, the Commission issued a revised Scheduling Order confirming that the public witness hearing will be held in person starting at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, October 11, 2021, and rescheduling the expert witness hearing to be held remotely on Webex beginning at 2:30 p.m. on that date.
On October 1, 2021, the Public Staff filed the joint testimony of James M. Singer, Dustin R. Metz, and Sonja R. Johnson, and on October 5, 2021, the Public Staff filed corrected joint testimony of its witnesses. No other party intervened or filed testimony in the docket.
On October 5, 2021, the Public Staff filed a motion requesting that the Commission excuse the Public Staff's witnesses from testifying at the October 11, 2021 expert witness hearing and accept their testimony into the record. According to the Public Staff, there does not appear to be any matter in dispute between Piedmont and the Public Staff. Further, the Public Staff stated that it conferred with counsel for Piedmont and that Piedmont has agreed to waive cross-examination of the Public Staff's witnesses, consent to the introduction of the Public Staff's corrected joint testimony into the record without the necessity for the appearance of such witnesses, and consent to the Public Staff's witnesses being excused from appearance at the hearing.
On October 8, 2021, Piedmont filed a motion requesting that the Commission excuse Piedmont's witnesses from testifying at the October 11, 2021 expert witness hearing and accept their testimony into the record. Piedmont stated that there does not appear to be any matter in dispute between Piedmont and the Public Staff. In addition, Piedmont stated that it conferred with counsel for the Public Staff and was authorized to represent that the Public Staff agrees to waive cross-examination of Piedmont's witnesses, to consent to the introduction of their testimony without the necessity for the appearance of the witnesses, and to consent to Piedmont's witnesses being excused from appearing at the hearing.
Based on the Public Staff's and Piedmont's motions and the record, the Presiding Commissioner finds good cause to excuse all Piedmont and Public Staff witnesses from testifying at the expert witness hearing and to receive the witnesses' prefiled testimony and exhibits into the record. Further, the Presiding Commissioner finds good cause to cancel the expert witness hearing and to require that the parties file proposed orders, or a joint proposed order, on or before November 12, 2021, and briefs by the same date, if either party desires to file a brief.
In addition, the Presiding Commissioner finds good cause to require that on or before October 21, 2021, Piedmont and the Public Staff, as designated in Attachment A, file verified written responses to the Commission questions attached hereto as Attachment A.
IT IS, THEREFORE, SO ORDERED.
ISSUED BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION.
This the 11th day of October, 2021.
NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION
Lindsey A. Worley, Acting Deputy Clerk