Consumer group settles with Ohio gas utility

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbia Gas of Ohio has reached a settlement with a top consumer group that could end regulated pricing of natural gas by 2017.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/UrrtZ6 ) reports that the Ohio Consumers' Counsel announced the settlement decision Tuesday after negotiations with Columbia gas companies.

In exchange, Columbia agreed to change certain parts of its proposal, including the end to regulated pricing in 2017 — one year later than the previous proposal.

And before getting rid of regulated prices, Columbia would need to hold a series of public hearings. The previous proposal had no such requirement.

The counsel said its actions are not an endorsement of the elimination of regulated pricing. It says it just wants to ensure a better process for a future debate on the issue.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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