Wyoming State Statute 37-1-103 (a) empowers the Public Service Commission (PSC) to certain entitlements regarding public utilities which include oil and natural gas pipelines. A public utility (as defined in W.S. 37-1-101 (vi)(G) and PSC Rules and Regulations, Chapter 2, Section 202 (b)(c)) means and includes every person that owns, operates, leases, controls or has power to operate, lease or control any plant, property or equipment for the transportation or conveyance to or for the public of oil or gas by pipeline, or any plant, property, or equipment, used for the purpose of transporting, selling or furnishing natural gas to any consumer or consumers within the state of Wyoming for industrial, commercial or residential use. Exceptions apply to any such plant, property or equipment used for any of the following purposes:
- For the transportation or sale of natural gas within or between oil and gas fields or potential oil and gas fields for residential, commercial, industrial or other use reasonably necessary in the exploration, development or operation of the field;
- For drilling, producing, repressuring, or other oil or gas field operations;
- For operation of natural gas processing plants;
- For the sale of natural gas by the producer to a consumer for use in industrial or commercial plants or establishments of any kind or nature.
The PSC has regulatory safety jurisdiction over any “intrastate gas pipeline facility” as defined under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and W.S. 37-2-131. And there is a civil penalty for violation of the federal Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (W.S. 37-2-128). Furthermore, the PSC implements their authority over gas utilities according to PSC rules and regulations defined in Chapter 4, Section 417, ‘All pipelines and pipeline facilities for the transportation of gas within the State of Wyoming shall conform with and be subject to all the provisions of Sections 191.1 through and including 191.19 and 192.3 through and including 192.753, and all appendixes incorporated therein, of the Federal Minimum Safety Standards promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation by dictate of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, which standards appear in Part 191 and 192 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations as published in the Federal Register on August 19, 1970 (35 C.F.R. 13247)’.