60-plus homes in the Four Corners to lose natural gas

Posted at: 07/10/2014 5:22 PM
Updated at: 07/11/2014 11:12 AM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Kim Alsup is counting the days until her home will be left without Natural Gas service.

“It’s totally unnecessary, totally unnecessary,” she said.

By September 15, Alsup and her neighbors will no longer be able to use gas from lines that have served the area for nearly 40 years.

“Our stove, our dryer, our heater, our hot water heater anything like that runs on gas.”

Alsup told us that they have lived on the property since 1976 and used natural gas there since 1977. The lines running under her property are known as gathering lines, moving natural gas from wells to a central processing and distributing plant. The right of way agreement for those gas gathering pipes included a provision for the land owner to be able to use gas from the gathering lines.

19 years ago, the New Mexico Gas Company sold the gathering lines to The Williams Company, with the blessing of The Public Regulation Commission. The Williams Company, though not a utility provider, agreed to provide natural gas to residents because of the agreement already in place. Now The Williams Company does not want to continue providing the service.

“They have an agreement that those pipelines come through our property and we get gas out of those pipelines.”

Alsup and other residents thought that agreement meant their gas service was guaranteed

“Now they are going against that agreement.”

Alsup says the PRC allowed the Williams Company to back out of the deal and pay $5,000 to each resident to make the switch to propane or electric. However, Alsup says she's only received about $3,600, not nearly enough to make the changes she'd need to switch to propane gas.

She estimates that cost is closer to $8,000.

She tells us that there were 411 users in the same problem, but a deal between New Mexico Gas and The Williams Company extended residential gas service to most of those users. Though only about 7 miles from another gas user, Alsup was told by New Mexico Gas that she lives too far away to extend the lines. She maintains that she is closer to distribution points than some users that have received gas service. 

Alsup says she will continue to fight.