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Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has been named Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the 116th Congress, which begins in January 2019. He replaces Senator Cantwell (D-Wash.) who vacated the Ranking Member position on the Energy Committee to assume the role of Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee—a position that opened up with the election defeat of Senator Nelson (D-Fla.). Senator Manchin, being from a coal state, holds much more pro-fossil-fuel energy positions than most of his caucus. In a press statement, Senator Manchin stated, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue to serve West ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, December 13, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, December 7. A 77 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,914 Bcf as of Friday, December 7, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 77 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 722 Bcf less than last year at this time and 723 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,637 Bcf. At 2,914 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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On December 11, APGA members and staff met with the leadership team at the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). Rich Worsinger, from City of Rocky Mount, N.C., and John Leary, from Borough of Chambersburg, Penn., led the discussion on behalf of APGA member systems. They were joined by Bert Kalisch, Erin Kurilla, and Doug MacGillivray from APGA staff. Among the eight attendees from PHMSA were Administrator Skip Elliott, Deputy Administrator Drue Pearce, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety Alan Mayberry, and Chief Counsel Paul Roberti. The discussion focused on mutual goals between APGA and PHMSA for 2019 and beyond. Those goals ...
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On December 11, 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: Owen Reeves, Chairman of the APGA Board of Directors and Gas System Director for Henderson Municipal Gas; Sam Davis, APGA First Vice Chair and General Manger & Chief Executive Officer of Lake Apopka Natural Gas District; John Leary, APGA Second Vice Chair and Gas Superintendent for the Borough of Chambersburg; Donnie Sharp, Chair of the APGA Regulatory Subcommittee and Senior Natural Gas Supply Coordinator for Huntsville ...
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Early this month, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Appeals Panel overturned Standard 62.2 Committee’s ban on unvented combustion heating appliances. The appeal filed by the Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and several organizations, such as National Propane Gas Association and The Ventfree Alliance, contested an ASHRAE Board action to approve “Addendum A” of Standard 62.2. The Panel ruled in favor of AHRI and the other organizations. Addendum A would have banned unvented combustion appliances in Standard 62.2-compliant homes. The Appeals found that SSPC 62.2, which is responsible for ...
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Today, the Senate approved the President’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The nomination was approved on a 50-49 vote with all of the Democrats voting against the nomination. A confirmation hearing on Mr. McNamee’s nomination was held on November 15. During the hearing, there was a focus on Mr. McNamee’s involvement, while at the Department of Energy (DOE), in the administration’s efforts to provide economic relief to struggling coal and nuclear plants. Mr. McNamee communicated that FERC rejected the administration’s proposal on a 5-0 vote earlier this year and that if confirmed he ...
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On December 6, APGA held a webinar for its members to provide an overview of APGA’s legislative and regulatory activities in 2018. The webinar was presented by Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President, and Dan Lapato and Doug MacGillivray, Directors of Government Affairs. During the webinar they discussed APGA advocacy efforts on a number of issues including comprehensive tax reform legislation, energy legislation as well as a number of Department of Energy (DOE) rulemakings. During the webinar, staff discussed the push by APGA to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) take action to ensure that pipeline consumers receive the benefit, in ...
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On January 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST, APGA will be hosting a webinar on the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Plastic Pipe Rule. The final rule was published on November 20, 2018 and operators have until January 22, 2019 to align their standards and procedures with the new requirements. The webinar will walk attendees through each new requirement and provide compliance guidance. To register for the webinar, please go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6243217633273880833 . For information on the Plastic Pipe Final Rule, please go to https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/11/20/2018-24925/pipeline-safety-plastic-pipe-rule ...
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On December 5, APGA Vice President of Operations & Safety, Erin Kurilla, addressed the 31st Annual Alabama Public Service Commission’s Pipeline Safety Seminar. Erin spent the majority of her presentation discussing the September 13, 2018 natural gas incident in Merrimack Valley, Mass. She shared details from the incident, as reported by the National Transportation Safety Board, and highlighted the urgent recommendations issued. She also provided insights on how natural gas distribution operators might prepare for the potential implementation of these recommendations. Alabama has 74 publicly owned natural gas systems, 64 of which are APGA member systems. ...
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On November 26, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing at the South Lawrence East Middle School Gymnasium in Lawrence, Mass. The hearing was titled “Pipeline Safety in the Merrimack Valley: Incident Prevention and Response” and the following members of Congress were in attendance: Senator Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Hassan (D-N.H.), Representative Moulton (D-Mass.), and Representative Tsongas (D-Mass.). Witnesses included representatives from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), National Transportations Safety Board (NTSB), the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, ...
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On November 26, APGA sent a letter to Chairman Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Cantwell (D-Wash.) of the Senate Energy Committee in support of the President’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to fill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seat formerly held by Commissioner Rob Powelson. Mr. McNamee is currently the head of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy and prior to that he served as a DOE Deputy General Counsel. In his role at DOE, Mr. McNamee was one of the architects of DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposed to provide cost recovery to electric generation plants with 90 days of fuel onsite. Before joining DOE, ...
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APGA is excited to announce its 2019 Policy and Technology Conference (PTC), which will be held this coming January 29-31. In the past this conference was referred to as the End-Use of Natural Gas Symposium. In 2019, the PTC is scheduled to follow the APGA Winter Board and Committee meetings at the Westin Cape Coral. It will also be held concurrently with APGA’s Gas Supply Conference and Marketing & Sales Trends &Training Conference. For the 2019 PTC, we will be hearing updates on our industry’s efforts to counter the electrification movement. We will have a session discussing natural gas resiliency. We will also have a session looking at the future ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, November 29, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 23. A 59 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,054 Bcf as of Friday, November 23, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 59 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 644 Bcf less than last year at this time and 720 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,774 Bcf. At 3,054 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 16. A 134 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,113 Bcf as of Friday, November 16, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 134 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 620 Bcf less than last year at this time and 710 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,823 Bcf. At 3,113 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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On November 15, APGA hosted a webinar for its members and members of its partner organizations to review the work completed during the second phase of our communications initiative. Phase 2 of the large-scale communications initiative that APGA has taken the lead on developing was completed at the end of October. This phase began early this past summer once the initial Phase 1 was complete. APGA has been working with the public relations firm Porter Novelli for over a year on this initiative; and there were several partners for Phase 2 including Florida Natural Gas Association, Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, Natural Gas Association of Georgia, Oak Ridge ...
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On November 16, the Department of Energy (DOE) published their Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The list includes a brief description of each rulemaking and a timetable for action. For APGA members there are several rulemakings to note. For Residential Non-Weatherized Gas Furnaces and Mobile Home Gas Furnaces, DOE is proposing a possible Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNOPR) for January 2019. In August they proposed a final action in November of 2018. For Commercial Water Heating Equipment, DOE is proposing a final action for January 2019. It should be noted that for this rule DOE has never proposed a standard. ...
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After much anticipation, on November 20, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the Final Rule for the Plastic Pipe Rule. The elements and requirements within the rule will go into effect on January 22, 2019. While the contents of the rule are still being analyzed, after an initial review it appears as though the elements of the rule are aligned with APGA’s expectations. Highlights include: • Tracking & Traceability – As anticipated the only requirement within the Final Rule related to Tracking & Traceability is the requirement that all plastic pipe and components manufactured after December 31, 2019 “be marked ...
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On November 14, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued five Safety Recommendations in response to the September incident in Merrimack Valley, Mass. The five recommendations were issued to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. The recommendations are: To the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1. Eliminate the professional engineer licensure exemption for public utility work and require a professional engineer’s seal on public utility engineering drawings. To NiSource, Inc.: 2. Revise the engineering plan and constructability review process across all of your subsidiaries to ensure ...
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At its November 15 Annual Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the release of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a policy statement, and several orders intended to ensure that ratepayers receive the benefit of the lowering of the corporate tax rate (from 35 percent to 21 percent) as provided in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law last December. Specifically, these proposed reforms are designed to address the tax law’s effects on the Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes (ADIT) reflected in their transmission rates. ADIT represents the accumulation of amounts collected through rates for income taxes but not yet needed to pay income ...
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Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the President’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to fill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seat formerly held by Commissioner Rob Powelson. Mr. McNamee is currently the head of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy and prior to that he served as a DOE Deputy General Counsel. In his role at DOE, Mr. McNamee was one of the architects of DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposed to provide cost recovery to electric generation plants with 90 days of fuel onsite. Before joining DOE, he was head of the Tenth Amendment Center at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, ...
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