The state Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday postponed for a month a planned vote this week on a moratorium on new natural gas connections for businesses and commercial properties throughout most of Los Angeles County.

PUB Commission President Michael Picker on Jan. 10 acted to move the moratorium proposal until the Feb. 8 meeting; it had been on the agenda for the commission’s Jan. 11 meeting in San Francisco. The stated reason for the hold: “further review.”

The delay represents a partial victory for opponents of the moratorium – including the Southern California Gas Co., the Los Angeles County Business Federation and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

The moratorium was proposed as a way to deal with possible shortages of natural gas during the peak winter heating season, which generally lasts through March 31. Even if the PUC approves the moratorium at the Feb. 8 meeting, the month delay means it would likely only be in effect for seven weeks instead of 11 weeks. And the delay means more businesses can get their natural gas hookups in the meantime.

More information on the proposed moratorium can be found in the Jan. 5, 2018 story Business Opposition Mounts to Proposed Moratorium on New Natural Gas Hookups

Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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