APGA Weekly Update December 1, 2016

12-01-2016 12:48

APGA Weekly Update, December 1, 2016
2016 APGA Management Salary Survey is Now Available
APGA is pleased to announce that the 2016 Management Salary Survey results are now available. This
survey can be a helpful tool for natural gas systems that need to know competitive prices for various
management positions within their system.
While participating members receive a complimentary copy of the results, APGA will provide a copy to
any non-participating member system for $150. In addition, any non-member system may purchase the
results for $250 if they participated in the survey; or for $1,000 if they did not participate.
To purchase and download a copy of the survey, visit the APGA website
at www.apga.org/resources/salarysurvey. You will need to log in to view and complete the transaction.
Members that participated can expect to receive a physical copy in the mail this month.
In this survey, the average of minimum, maximum, and actual salaries for various non-management
positions were surveyed. The positions fall within four categories, which are Top Position (such as
Superintendent of Utilities), Second Position (such as Gas Superintendent), Operations, and
The survey also includes the average number of gas customers, average number of employees, average
MCF, and average revenue, broken down into eight ranges of system size. It is important to note that
the averages included in these results are based on a small representation of the total number of public
natural gas systems nationwide, and should therefore be interpreted accordingly.
For questions regarding the salary survey, please contact Simon Cook of APGA staff by phone at 202-
930-6720 or by email at scook@apga.org .
APGA Sends Letter to DOE Inspector General on Last-Minute Extension
On November 28, APGA sent a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General formally
requesting that the Inspector General’s office look into the action DOE took on November 22 to extend
the comment deadline on the furnace Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNOPR). At
approximately 5:00 p.m. on November 22, DOE released a notice that extended the comment period on
the furnace SNOPR to January 6, 2017. The comment period was originally scheduled to expire on
November 22, and as a result, APGA submitted its comments early that afternoon. APGA and the
American Gas Association previously requested that the comment period be extended, but DOE never
formally responded to that request beyond communicating at the October 17 public hearing that
November 22 would be the date that comments would be due. This last-minute extension was similar
to the extension that DOE provided in October 2015 in regard to the deadline for comments on the
Notice of Data Availability that DOE released in September 2015.
In the letter, APGA states that, “DOE has again belatedly issued an extension of a comment date that
can only benefit those supporting DOE.” The letter also communicates that, “DOE, which obviously
decided well before November 22 to extend the date, nevertheless waited until after 5:00 p.m. on the
due date to notify the public of the extension.”
A copy of APGA’s letter to DOE is available on the APGA website at www.apga.org. For questions on this
article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at
Participate in APGA’s Government Relations Wrap-Up Webinar
On December 13, APGA will hold a webinar for members to provide an overview of APGA’s government
relations activities over the last year. APGA previously held a mid-year government relations webinar in
July. During the webinar, APGA staff will provide an overview of significant legislative and regulatory
activities impacting public natural gas systems and/or the natural gas industry as whole. This year’s
webinar will provide an update on, among other things, the Department of Energy’s Supplemental
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would establish a residential furnace nationwide mandate of 92
annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) with a small furnace exemption for furnaces of 55,000 Btu or
less. The webinar will also provide an update on the status of Congress’ efforts to pass an energy bill and
a regulation impacting the definition of a “political subdivision,” which impacts the ability of an entity to
issue tax-exempt bonds.
Information on how to register for the webinar is available on the APGA website at
www.apga.org/webinars. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA staff by
phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.
President-Elect Trump Cabinet Nominations Update
President-Elect Trump has begun to fill out his cabinet by nominating a number of key administration
positions, but the relevant positions for APGA members—Secretary of Energy, Secretary of the Interior,
and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—are still vacant.
Cabinet officials nominated by Trump are subject to Senate confirmation. Usually, this would mean each
official would need to receive 60 votes. However, in 2013, Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules
invoking the so-called “nuclear option” requiring only a simple majority or 51 votes for all non-Supreme
Court nominees. This means that it is highly likely that all of Trump’s nominees will be confirmed as
Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate and may have 52 seats, depending on the outcome of the
Louisiana Senate runoff.
Below is a list of Trump cabinet nominees and issues expected to be raised in confirmation hearings.
Attorney General: Senator Sessions (R-Ala.): Senator Sessions was the first Senate supporter of Trump
and is best known in the Senate for his hardline stance on immigration. Though Senator Sessions will in
all likelihood be confirmed, he is expected to face significant questions of his past remarks, which
previously cost him an appointment to a federal judgeship in the 1980s.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Representative Price (R-Ga.): Rep. Price is a six-term
Congressman who is best known as a strident critic of Obamacare and the architect of the repeal
legislation that passed the House, but was vetoed by President Obama. Price has also drafted a
replacement for Obamacare. It is very likely that under Trump, the Obamacare repeal bill will be very
similar to Price’s, but the replacement for it is not yet clear.
Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos: DeVos is a prominent philanthropist and head of the American
Federation for Children, which advocates for charter schools. Teachers oppose her nomination as they
believe charter schools undermine public schools.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.: Governor Haley (R-S.C.): Governor Haley served three terms in the South
Carolina House before becoming Governor. Critics of her nomination point out that she has very limited
foreign policy experience.
Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao: Chao was the Deputy Secretary for Transportation under
President George H.W. Bush, and was the Secretary of Labor for all eight years under President George
W. Bush. Her nomination has been widely accepted.
Secretary of the Treasury: Steve Mnuchin: Mnuchin was Trump’s national finance chair for his campaign.
He started his career at Goldman Sachs where he worked for 17 years and became a partner, and then
left to start his own hedge fund. Critics have pointed out that Mnuchin is from the Wall Street elite
group that Trump criticized throughout the campaign, and that Mnuchin profited off of the financial
Secretary of Treasury: Wilbur Ross: Ross is a billionaire turnaround specialist who bought companies and
restructured them particularly in the steel and coal industries. Ross is known as a critic of free trade
agreements, as is Trump. Ross will likely face questions about his company’s conduct during the Sago
mine disaster in 2006 in which 12 miners died.
Below is a list of other cabinet posts remaining and possible nominees.
Secretary of State: Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani,
Former General David Petraeus, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Former Ambassador John Bolton
Secretary of Defense: Former General James Mattis, Former Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.), and Senator
Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
Secretary of Homeland Security: Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Milwaukee County
Sheriff David Clarke
Secretary of the Interior: Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) and Governor Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Former Governor Palin and Former Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas)
Secretary of Agriculture: Former Governor Perry, Former Governor Sonny Perdue (R-Ga.), and Sid Miller
of Texas Agriculture Commissioner
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson
Secretary of Labor: No names at this time
Secretary of Energy: Harold Hamm of Range Resources
For questions on this article, please contact Scott Morrison of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or
by email at smorrison@apga.org.
PPDC Releases Report on Plastic Pipe Performance
On December 1, the Plastic Pipe Database Committee (PPDC) released the latest update on in-service
failures of plastic pipe and components. The PPDC is composed of representatives of the American Gas
Association (AGA), American Public Gas Association (APGA), Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), National
Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), National Association of Pipeline Safety
Representatives (NAPSR), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and U.S. Department of
Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). For the past
16 years, the PPDC has been receiving information on in-service plastic piping system failures and/or
leaks with the objective of identifying possible performance issues. Company participation in this
initiative is voluntary. Matt Stennett of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas and Jon Mason of Chambersburg,
Pa., represent APGA on the PPDC. The full report can be found here.
The purpose of the PPDC data collection and analysis is to identify possible problems with plastic pipe
and components such as the brittle failures that occurred with Century Utility Products polyethylene
(PE) pipe produced from 1970 through 1974, Aldyl A PE pipe manufactured from 1970 through 1972 and
pipe manufactured from PE 3306 resin. No additional problem materials were identified in the latest
report, however the report now includes an analysis of failures of Driscopipe 7000 and 8000 which was
added after seeing a marked uptick in Driscopipe failure reports over the last few years
The PPDC effort has proven invaluable in maintaining confidence in the continued safe use of plastic
pipe in distribution piping. APGA strongly encourages all members to voluntarily submit data to the
PPDC. Even if a utility has had no plastic pipe failures, that information is crucial to the effort. For
information on the PPDC, please go to www.apga.org/programs/plasticpipedata. For questions on this
article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834 or by email at
EIA Reports Storage Decrease of 50 Bcf to Put Working Gas Storage at 3,995 Bcf
Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, December 1, 2016, which reports the
week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 25, 2016. A 50 Bcf decrease has been reported.
Working gas in storage was 3,995 Bcf as of Friday, November 25, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This
represents a net decline of 50 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 24 Bcf higher than last year at
this time and 235 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,760 Bcf. At 3,995 Bcf, total working gas is above
the five-year historical range.

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