Regulators Want Closer at Peoples Gas Pipeline Program

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PRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission has voted to take a closer look at the progress, costs and the impact on rates of Peoples Gas’ multibillion dollar pipeline replacement program.

Peoples Gas received legislative approval in 2013 to charge customers for a 20-year program to replace 2,000 miles of aging pipe in Chicago.

When launched in 2011, it had a $2.6 billion price tag. It has since seen cost estimates balloon to more than $8 billion. Peoples Gas CEO Charles Matthews later lowered the projected cost to $6.8 billion.

Regulators on Wednesday voted unanimously to gather more information and hold more hearings on the program. ICC spokeswoman Marianne Manko says after hearing additional arguments and evidence, the ICC will then “issue an order that will set the course, direction and pace” of the project.

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