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APGA member systems take great pride in their ability to deliver natural gas safely and efficiently to over 5 million customers in 37 states. APGA is pleased to hold the System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) program. One aspect of that program is the ability to recognize those public natural gas systems that have achieved excellence in the operation of their natural gas utility. SOAR honors natural gas distribution utilities that demonstrate commitment to excellence in four areas: system integrity; system improvement; employee safety; and, workforce development. Applications are reviewed by a team of experts from the APGA Operations & Safety Committee ...
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The APGA Mutual Aid program was formally approved by the APGA Board of Directors during the May 2019 Board Meeting in Alexandria, Va. This program has been in development for many months and is now in the final stages of being launched. It was developed with input from the APGA Operations & Safety Committee, as well as the Mutual Aid Task Group, and went through several iterations to allow as close to 100 percent participation from APGA members as possible. The final agreement addressed concerns brought forward by APGA membership, including indemnification, workers compensation, and Operator Qualification. • Indemnification - The APGA Mutual Aid Agreement ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 16, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 10. A 106 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,653 Bcf as of Friday, May 10, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 106 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 130 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 286 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,939 Bcf. At 1,653 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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This week, the Building Energy Codes and Standards (BECS) Committee met at the offices of the American Gas Association (AGA) in Washington, D.C. Stuart Saulters of APGA staff was able to participate and represent APGA members in the discussions. Jason Stanek, of the Metropolitan Utilities District, was also a part of this meeting. There were two full days of conversation on updates to the pertinent model codes, as well as the research and any pending legislation and regulations related to them. The gas utility industry is facing challenges, even in the development of codes and standards, so it is critical for APGA members and staff to stay engaged on the BECS ...
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On February 5, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requested public comment on agency guidance documents. The DOT is “reviewing its existing guidance documents to evaluate their continued necessity and determine whether they need to be updated or revised.” The request summarizes guidance as documents that “can serve a number of purposes including: (1) Clarifying the pertinent statutory and regulatory requirements; (2) assisting with statutory and regulatory compliance; and (3) communicating the Department’s position on an issue.” APGA worked collaboratively with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the American Gas Association, and the American ...
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On May 9, Bill Cooper was sworn in as General Counsel for the Department of Energy (DOE). At the swearing in ceremony, which Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff attended, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Mark Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, discussed Bill’s experience and the skills he will bring to the position. It is the role of the DOE General Counsel to, among other things, determine the department’s authoritative position on any question of law and provide legal advice, counsel, and support to the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and program offices. Last August, APGA sent a letter to the Chairman, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and then Ranking Democrat, ...
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On May 14, Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President, spoke at the Argus Natural Gas Summit held in Houston, Texas. Now in its fifth year, the Argus Natural Gas Summit provides a forum for market leaders and decisionmakers from across the industry to meet to discuss developments in the energy markets. Other speakers at the conference included: Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association; Charlie Riedl, Executive Director for the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas; and, Steven Woodward, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Antero Resources. In his presentation, Dave discussed challenges and threats to the direct use of ...
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APGA members traveled to Washington, D.C. on May 7 and 8 to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. APGA holds an annual Government Relations Conference in Washington, D.C. as part of the Spring Board and Committee meetings. In addition to receiving updates on key natural gas issues, another critical component of this event is APGA members meeting with their congressional delegations. Having congressional representatives hear directly from their constituents on key issues of interest to public natural gas systems has greatly helped APGA’s advocacy efforts. As has occurred in previous years, many members of the APGA Public Gas Policy Council attended this year’s ...
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On May 7, members of the APGA Board of Directors and the Regulatory Subcommittee met with members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, D.C. The APGA representatives that participated in the meeting included: Sam Davis, APGA First Vice Chair and General Manger & Chief Executive Officer of Lake Apopka Natural Gas District; Donnie Sharp, Chair of the APGA Regulatory Subcommittee and Senior Natural Gas Supply Coordinator for Huntsville Utilities; John Olshefski, Senior Vice President, Customer Care for Huntsville Utilities; Rich Worsinger, Director of Energy Resources for the City of Rocky Mount; John Gregg, APGA’s General Counsel; ...
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On May 6, APGA filed comments in response to the Department of Energy (DOE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to streamline and modernize the Process Rule. The Process Rule addresses the procedures and policies that guide DOE in establishing new or amended energy-efficiency standards. The hearing was well attended by representatives from the energy industry, appliance manufacturers, utilities, and efficiency groups. The NOPR, which was released in February, includes many of the changes pushed for by APGA at a January 2018 Public Meeting and in comments filed last year to DOE. The revisions contained in the proposed rule include: making the Process Rule binding; ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 9, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 3. An 85 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,547 Bcf as of Friday, May 3, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 85 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 128 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 303 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,850 Bcf. At 1,547 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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The Direct Use Task Group (DUTG) met this week in Washington, D.C. The busy agenda included an opportunity to hear from Jim Tweedie of the Canadian Gas Association (CGA). He shared insight on their efforts to encourage more use of natural gas in Canada, which was important for the DUTG to hear as the group develops its strategic plan. CGA has had success in partnering with several stakeholders in Canada to promote use of natural gas in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Given this great work, the DUTG will likely look for more opportunities to collaborate with CGA moving forward. Following Jim’s briefing, the DUTG jumped right into strategic ...
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On May 8, as a part of the APGA Government Relations Conference, APGA visited with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) leadership at their Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C. In attendance on behalf of APGA were: Owen Reeves, APGA Chairman from Henderson Municipal Gas; Pat Riley, APGA Operations & Safety Committee Chairman and Board Member from Gibson County Utility District; Alonzo Weaver, APGA Board Treasurer and Operations & Safety Committee Vice Chairman from Memphis Gas, Light & Water; Rich Worsinger, APGA Board Member from City of Rocky Mount; Bob Dowel, APGA Board Member from Long ...
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Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Bart Chilton has passed away at age 58 due to complications related to pancreatic cancer. Commissioner Chilton served on the CFTC from 2007 to 2014. He was originally nominated by President George W. Bush and later re-nominated by President Barack Obama. He chaired the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Advisory and the Global Markets Advisory panels. APGA met with Commissioner Chilton several times and he was a speaker at both our Annual Conference as well as our Gas Supply Conference. He strongly supported APGA’s views regarding the need for greater market transparency. APGA sends our condolences ...
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On April 30, Senators Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation titled S. 1245 the All-of-the-Above Federal Building Energy Conservation Act of 2019. This bill is similar to legislation introduced in the House and Senate last Congress which, among other things, repeals Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Section 433 of EISA eliminates all fossil fuel-generated energy from federal buildings by the year 2030. This ban would apply to all new or renovated federal buildings. This legislation would help the federal government improve energy efficiency, while providing flexibility in using efficient fuels, like ...
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The APGA Research Foundation (RF) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will hold the 2019 Fall Forum this August 21-22 and APGA members are encouraged to attend! The APGA Research Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that serves as the “bank” for public gas system (PGS) voluntary research and development (R&D) contributions. The RF provides PGSs their own organization to collect and allocate voluntary dollars to R&D important to public gas customers. The RF identifies and prioritizes research projects important to contributing PGSs and ensures that project deliverables are tracked and met. Those deliverables always include commercialization prospects, ...
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On April 30, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education approved the fiscal year 2020 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill. This bill includes funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is a federal block grant program that provides money to low-income individuals/families to help them meet their energy needs. The program receives an annual appropriation from Congress through the Labor and Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. The funding level approved by the subcommittee is $3.84 billion and represents a $150 million increase over the fiscal year 2019 amount of ...
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The latest shipment trends for residential and commercial gas and electric storage type water heaters, residential gas and oil furnaces, electric heat pumps and air-conditioners was recently published by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). This trade association represents manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. A few year-to-date trends to note are below: • U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters increased 3.2 percent. • Combined shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps increased 4.9 percent. • U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces ...
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A new study was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and has been titled “Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality.” It came out in March of this year and has some interesting findings, most specifically the research provides that “lower heating prices reduce mortality in winter months…[and] that the drop in natural gas prices in the late 2000s, induced largely by the boom in shale gas production, averted 11,000 winter deaths per year in the U. S.” You can view the study at https://www.nber.org/papers/w25681.pdf. The American Gas Association (AGA) also wrote a blog with interesting insight on the recent study at http://www.truebluenaturalgas.org/affordable-energy-saves-lives-study/. ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 2, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, April 26. A 123 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,462 Bcf as of Friday, April 26, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 123 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 128 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 316 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,778 Bcf. At 1,462 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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