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This week, APGA signed on to a letter in support of the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit (AFTC). The letter, sent to Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) of the Senate Finance Committee, calls for Congress to immediately reinstate the AFTC for tax years 2018 and 2019. The AFTC was last renewed in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act retroactively for tax year 2017. The letter notes that “full five-year extension of the AFTC would provide business certainty along with a significant contribution to our nation’s economic growth.” ...
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On February 13, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rule (NOPR) to streamline and modernize the so-called “Process Rule.” The proposal would substantially improve the agency’s process for setting energy efficiency standards and test procedures for residential appliances and commercial equipment, enhancing transparency, accountability, and regulatory certainty for stakeholders. DOE will also hold a process rule public meeting on March 21 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in Washington, D.C. DOE is proposing to update and modernize its Process Rule by addressing the following major topics: • Emphasizing that the procedures outlined in the Process ...
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The 2018-2019 APGA Policy Resolutions have been sent out to the individual APGA committees for review and edit. The Policy Resolutions, which address areas ranging from pipeline safety to the direct use of natural gas, guide the association in its advocacy positions. Policy Resolutions are reviewed on an annual basis by the individual APGA committees to determine if edits, including the removal of a resolution, are needed or if a specific new policy resolution is warranted. Revisions to the resolutions will be considered by the Board at the May meeting and by membership at the Annual Meeting in July in Stowe, Vt. A copy of APGA’s Policy Resolutions can be viewed ...
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Throughout 2018 the APGA Security & Integrity Foundation (SIF) brainstormed and developed a new resource for gas utilities. The SIF Gas Operations & Safety Orientation Videos are a series of videos meant for all interested individuals. Whether someone is an elected official that oversees a publicly owned gas system, a manager at a gas utility, or a new-hire in gas operations, these videos are designed to provide an executive summary of gas distribution operations and pipeline safety compliance requirements. The first video on Gas Distribution Accident Causes has now been posted here http://apgasif.org/gas-operations-safety-orientation-videos/ Five ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, February 14, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, February 8. A 78 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,882 Bcf as of Friday, February 8, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 78 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 30 Bcf less than last year at this time and 333 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,215 Bcf. At 1,882 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On February 5, APGA sent a letter to the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee calling for Congress to examine how interstate pipelines are retaining the tax windfall created by the lowering of the corporate tax rate (from 35 percent to 21 percent) as provided in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. As communicated in the letter, the failure of Congress to amend Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), in the same manner in which it amended the Federal Power Act, has resulted in natural gas consumers being annually overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars by regulated interstate pipelines. APGA has long maintained ...
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It has been reported that Minority Leader Schumer will select Allison Clements, an energy lawyer, to replace Commissioner LaFleur on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ms. Clements is currently the director of clean energy markets at the Energy Foundation, a non-profit whose stated mission is to serve the public interest by building a strong, clean energy economy. Commissioner LaFleur’s term is scheduled to expire on June 30, although the rules would allow her to serve until the end of the congressional session—Congress typically adjourns in mid to late-December. Reports are also stating that there might be effort to pair the FERC nominations for ...
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2019 ICC Membership

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Over the last several years, we have been discussing the importance of becoming involved in the International Code Council (ICC) code development process. In 2019, the ICC will be amending the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The ICC is the main source of standards for the residential construction segment and they impact how, where and when natural gas can be used in a home or business. An overwhelming majority of our state and local jurisdictions already use some version of the ICC’s model codes. Now, more than ever, APGA members need to participate in the development of the model building ...
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The APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) Task Group provided a webinar to all interested member systems on Tuesday February 5. During the webinar, the Task Group members provided clarity on many of the questions within the SOAR application and insight into the Task Group’s scoring process. All APGA members are encouraged to participate in SOAR. While the program recognizes outstanding operational practices by public natural gas systems, more importantly, it offers honest feedback from industry subject matter experts. New in 2018, SOAR program participants were invited to participate in small virtual roundtables to discuss operations challenges. ...
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On January 31, the Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS) Industry Team held their first meeting of 2019. The Team consists of trade association staff and operators from throughout the natural gas distribution, transmission, and liquid pipeline industries. APGA joined this Team at the end of 2017 and Erin Kurilla, APGA’s Vice President of Operations and Safety, participates on behalf of APGA membership. The PSMS Task Group within the Operations & Safety Committee provides guidance on APGA’s positions. The stated purpose of the Team is to enhance safe pipeline operations through supporting pipeline operators in their adoption and implementation of Safety ...
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On February 4, APGA attended an event at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced their 2019-2020 Most Wanted List. The event was originally scheduled for early-January, however it had to be rescheduled due to the government shutdown. The shutdown was a topic that was addressed right away. Because so many government employees were furloughed, investigations were unable to be conducted into many transportation incidents occurring during the shutdown. The result is missed opportunities to find solutions for incidents resulting in injuries and fatalities. The event started with opening remarks ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, February 7, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, February 1. A 237 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,960 Bcf as of Friday, February 1, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 237 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 135 Bcf less than last year at this time and 415 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,375 Bcf. At 1,960 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA held its Winter Board and Committee meetings this Sunday, January 27 through Tuesday, January 29 in Cape Coral, Fla. The event kicked off with a reception on the Sunday evening. Committee meetings were held Monday morning, and the APGA Board of Directors met Monday afternoon. That day concluded with a reception for members. The committee meetings picked back up again Tuesday morning and concluded around lunchtime. Beginning on January 29 at 1:00 P.M., APGA kicked off its three 2019 concurrent conferences: Gas Supply Conference (GSC), Marketing & Sales Trends & Training Conference (MSTTC), and Policy and Technology Conference (PTC). The GSC provides ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, January 31, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, January 25. A 173 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,197 Bcf as of Friday, January 25, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 173 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 14 Bcf less than last year at this time and 328 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,525 Bcf. At 2,197 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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At the APGA Board and Committee meetings this week in Cape Coral, Fla., the Operations & Safety (O&S) Committee discussed the proposed APGA Mutual Aid Agreement. With numerous weather and outage related incidents throughout the country in 2018, it has become ever apparent that APGA members are ready and eager to send aid. At this time, many APGA members only have mutual aid agreements with the other public gas systems in their state or immediate vicinity. The APGA Mutual Aid Agreement will allow all signees to provide and receive aid from APGA members from around the country. Due to the nuances in the local and state laws that govern APGA members, there ...
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At its January 28 meeting, the APGA Board of Directors unanimously approved three new nominations to the Public Gas Policy Council (PGPC) for 2019. The PGPC is an advocacy group made up of elected and appointed officials from public gas communities. The primary purpose of the PGPC is to assist APGA in communicating with members of Congress the priorities for public gas systems. The PGPC also provides advice on legislative related issues of importance to APGA. The group also serves as a forum for elected officials to discuss public gas issues. Locally elected and appointed public officials have a strong, persuasive, and authoritative voice in Washington, D.C. ...
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Owen Reeves, Chairman of the APGA Board of Directors and Gas System Director for Henderson Municipal Gas, recently sent out an update to all APGA members discussing APGA’s recent accomplishments as well as the challenges and anticipated activities for 2019. In the letter, Owen discussed a number of advocacy accomplishments including the filing of a joint petition for rulemaking to the Department of Energy (DOE) requesting that DOE issue a rule clarifying that there be two standards adopted for natural gas appliances: one for condensing, and one for non-condensing. APGA has consistently maintained that only through the establishment of two separate product classes ...
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On January 23, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a pre-publication notice announcing an extension of the public comment period for submitting comments on a petition submitted by APGA, AGA, NGSA, NPGA and Spire. Our petition asks DOE to recognize that their current proposed energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters would result in the unavailability of “performance characteristics.” We asked DOE to withdraw its proposals for amended standards for these products based upon such findings. Our petition was published on November 1 for a 60-day comment period. DOE received two requests from interested parties seeking ...
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On January 16 and 17, an American Petroleum Institute (API) task group met in Houston, Texas to continue its work revising the API Recommended Practice (RP) 1162 on Pipeline Public Awareness. The first edition of RP 1162 has been incorporated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) into federal pipeline safety regulations and is the standard all operators must follow for educating the public and other stakeholders about natural gas safety. RP 1162 specifies the stakeholder audiences, the messages that the operator must communicate to each, the frequency of communication and recommended methods of communication. RP 1162 also requires ...
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APGA and our communications team along with our public relations firm, Porter Novelli, have been hard at work beginning Phase 3 of our consumer communication initiative. Phase 2 of our initiative in which we conducted consumer online research and message development concluded at the end of 2018. Phase 3 is now underway and that is the launch of the campaign that was developed, which is called Natural Gas Genius. “Natural Gas. Genius.” is a consumer marketing campaign that speaks from the heart and mind of today’s homebuyer/remodeler. It’s refreshing, sassy and right on target with this target audience. In each component of the campaign, we experience people’s ...
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