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On July 8-9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held a technical conference to explore the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry. The virtual conference was composed of four panels of experts from all sectors of the industry, with focused discussion on demand changes, transmission planning, system operations, and access to capital. APGA staff worked with FERC to ensure that the public gas utility sector would be represented during this technical conference. On behalf of APGA, Gary Gibson (City Utilities of Springfield) participated on a panel that discussed natural gas and oil demand. Gary and other panel members, which included representatives ...
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On July 6, APGA submitted joint comments with Spire, Inc. (Spire) and the American Gas Association (AGA) in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) request for information (RFI) pertaining to energy conservation standards (ECSs) for consumer water heaters (CWHs). Although not appliance manufacturers, APGA members do provide the energy needed to fuel CWHs; consequently, public natural gas utilities are a critical stakeholder in this work. Through its comments, APGA addressed the need for separate product classes for condensing and non-condensing combustion technology in gas-fired CWHs. We also used this opportunity to reiterate APGA’s positions ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 9, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 3. A 56 Bcf increase has been reported.   Working gas in storage was 3,133 Bcf as of Friday, July 3, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 56 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 685 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 454 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,679 Bcf. At 3,133 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical rang
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On July 8th and 9th, APGA staff participated in the Summer meeting of the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONG SCC). This group represents the industry sector interests of the oil and natural gas industry in the public-private partnership. It provides a forum to coordinate oil and natural gas security strategies, activities, policy, and communication across the sector to support the nation’s homeland security mission. On Wednesday, just the industry representatives and the trades representing them met, and then, on Thursday, the ONG SCC was able to meet with Administration partners from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of ...
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Legislative Update

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It’s been a busy few weeks in Washington as Congress works to check off items ahead of August recess. Last week, the House passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which compiled infrastructure priorities from numerous committees. While the bill itself will not be taken up in the Senate, APGA has been working with committees and House offices to fine-tune some component items that will be considered in stand-alone legislation down the road.   This week, APGA voiced support for two critical legislative initiatives. APGA joined its utility industry partners in calling for fully funding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). APGA's ...
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On July 1, APGA submitted comments in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) request for information (RFI) pertaining to energy conservation standards (ECSs) for commercial warm air furnaces (CWAFs). Although not appliance manufacturers, APGA members do provide the energy needed to fuel CWAFs; consequently, public natural gas utilities are a critical stakeholder in this work. Through its comments, APGA requested for DOE to make a formal determination that the CWAF ECSs need not be updated at this time. APGA’s comments also supported those of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), with whom we closely coordinated. In addition ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 2, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, June 26. A 65 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,077 Bcf as of Friday, June 26, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 65 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 712 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 466 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,611 Bcf. At 3,077 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA works closely with a coalition of pipeline trade associations and representatives from their memberships on the Industry Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS) Team. The team is dedicated to raising awareness and providing tools to assist with the adoption of PSMS principles. On behalf of that team, the Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL) developed a ‘Communications Toolkit’ for the promotion of PSMS to all stakeholders. As an industry, we are collectively pushing PSMS messages through social media platforms throughout July. APGA encourages its members to participate in this effort by sharing APGA’s social media posts on this topic and by posting individual ...
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Congratulations to all 41 winners of the 2020 APGA Safety Contest! These gas systems highlight the dedication of APGA members to maintaining the highest safety standards within their system, their communities, and in the natural gas industry. Among the winning systems, the City of Tallahassee, Fla., and the City of Winder, Ga., will be receiving an award for meeting the criteria to win the safety contest five years in a row. In addition, Lake Apopka Natural Gas District, Fla., will be receiving an award for meeting that criteria ten years in a row. These are remarkable achievements and serve the entire industry by exemplifying what it means to set and maintain ...
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On July 1, the House passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The $1.5 trillion package, dubbed an infrastructure bill, passed along party lines. The House then left for its two-week mid-summer recess.  While the base bill and components did deal with infrastructure, H.R. 2 was much broader and delved into general domestic policy. The bill includes many energy provisions, including electric vehicle and alternative vehicle investments, various energy tax credits, and incentives for home energy and energy efficiency programs. Items that APGA tracked included the Build America Bonds program, a new pipeline repair state grant program, and tax credits pertaining ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, June 25, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, June 5. A 120 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,012 Bcf as of Friday, June 19, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 120 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 739 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 466 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,546 Bcf. At 3,012 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range
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At the invitation of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), APGA staff presented on recent state legislation related to energy choice. At State and Regional Policy Committee meeting on June 18, APGA staff spoke specifically on recent bills passed in Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states followed Arizona and Tennessee, which have also passed legislation ensuring their citizens have a choice in the energy for their homes and businesses. While the bill may be structured differently based on the laws of the state, the outcome ensures individual cities and towns can’t mandate electrification, like occurred in Berkeley, California. Along with APGA staff, ...
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While federal agencies are required by law to allow for public comment on proposed rulemakings, traditionally no such opportunity has been required for guidance documents. Executive Order (EO) 13891 “Promoting the Rule of Law through Improved Agency Guidance Documents” requires all agencies to increase transparency. In response to that EO, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the proposed rule “EPA Guidance; Administrative Procedures for Issuance and Public Petitions” on May 22, 2020. APGA is engaging in opportunities to work with other trades and build coalitions as we learn the issues and understand the critical players. Therefore, ...
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On Wednesday, June 24th, APGA members were able to hear from SunGas Renewables, which was founded in 2019 as a subsidiary of the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). The discussion detailed the company’s efforts to take the sun’s energy that is stored in organic wastes and their byproducts, principally woody biomass, and convert it into renewable fuel at high efficiency, while simultaneously reducing adverse environmental impacts. There was also a conversation on the specific steps of gasification that aims to result in a fuel that is pipeline quality. As well, the presenter shared on all GTI has done to further and promote gasification technology for many years. ...
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On June 24, APGA submitted comments in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) request for information (RFI) pertaining to test procedures for consumer water heaters and residential-duty water heaters. Similarly, on June 4, APGA also submitted comments in response to DOE’s RFI pertaining to test procedures for commercial warm air furnaces (CWAFs). Although not appliance manufacturers, APGA members do provide the energy needed to fuel the appliances in question; consequently, public natural gas utilities are a critical stakeholder in this work. The RFIs for both sets of test procedures posed a number of complex questions, ranging from current market ...
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On January 23, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the Operator Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident & Incident Notifications, and Other Pipeline Safety Changes Final Rule . Within that final rule were new requirements for the inspection and testing of service lines off of production, gathering, and transmission pipelines – commonly referred to as farm taps (§192.740). Soon after the publication of the Final Rule industry trade associations, including APGA, encouraged PHMSA to revisit this new requirement as many complexities were not originally discussed during the rulemaking process.  In response on March 26, 2019, ...
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As previously reported, APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) jointly filed an appeal of four International Code Council (ICC) actions related to provisions in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). APGA, through the appeal, contended that these provisions should have been prevented from moving forward by ICC staff during the code development process because they either raised potential federal preemption concerns or were outside of IECC's defined intent and, consequently, should not be included in the next edition of the IECC. APGA members would be directly and materially affected by state or local adoption of the requirements of these ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, June 18, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, June 5. A 85 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,892 Bcf as of Friday, June 12, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 85 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 722 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 419 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,473 Bcf. At 2,892 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range
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Today, APGA held the first stop on its virtual membership tour with a sold-out virtual meeting with Florida public gas systems. As we have done in the past, APGA’s President & CEO, Dave Schryver, and senior staff were scheduled to meet with APGA members in-person over a two-week period. Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the membership tour has been transitioned to a virtual tour that will include over 25 regional/state visits with APGA members nationwide. The membership tour allows APGA staff the opportunity to come to meet with the folks who work for our member utilities and listen to the concerns and daily challenges of our member gas utilities to better ...
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On Monday, June 15, APGA joined seven other industry trade associations in submitting comments to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Regulatory Reform for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines. While the large majority of this proposed rule focused on changes to 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 194, which focuses on oil spill response plans, and Part 195, which focuses on safety regulations for liquid pipelines, there were some significant proposals associated with 49 CFR 190 included. Part 190 codifies the enforcement procedures used by PHMSA and their state pipeline safety partners for all pipelines. ...
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