A task force of state regulatory utility commissioners is exploring ways to expand infrastructure and other means to provide natural gas to underserved and unserved areas of the U.S.

“Too many Americans live in communities that lack the basic access to natural gas service—a situation that we hope to remedy through the work of this task force,” said Brandon Presley, a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission. The task force was created by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

Communities that lack local distribution lines and gas utility services rely on bottled propane, heating oil and other more expensive fuels. NARUC recently passed a resolution calling for the acceleration of plans to modernize, replace and expand U.S. natural gas pipeline systems.

During the task force’s eight-month term it will prepare an analytical report that will:

  • study current access, expansion and service extension policies for underserved and unserved areas;
  • examine the need for access and expansion including case studies and review of the barriers and obstacles to such access;
  • recommend potential mechanisms to address the benefits and opportunities for access and expansion and identifies alternative or unconventional approaches to reaching unserved and underserved areas; and
  • compile a national “best practices” collection on natural gas access and expansion to underserved and unserved areas.