Federal regulators were advised that natural gas consumption in California dropped 3 percent. Nationwide, there was no increase in residential and commercial use. In the West, the price of gas increased 6 percent, according to regulatory staff. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members noted that the government shouldn\u2019t become complacent, even given the most recent data. Commissioner Cheryl LeFleur questioned whether \u201caffordability\u201d and general \u201cavailability\u201d could turn to volatility. While customers are using less, power plants are using more. Natural gas use increases stem from \u201cedging out coal\u201d as a feedstock for electric generation, said Tim Shear, FERC Office of Enforcement analyst, April 21. Commissioner John Norris said the increased reliance on gas is like \u201cstacking a number of generation plants on one pipeline,\u201d and that begs reliability questions. According to the FERC 2010 State of Markets Report, the price of the fuel is stable, and \u201cnot affected by market forces,\u201d said Shear.