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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 17, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 11. A 106 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,538 Bcf as of Friday, May 11, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 106 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 821 Bcf less than last year at this time and 501 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,039 Bcf. At 1,538 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On April 24, the Department of Energy (DOE) published its representative average unit costs of five residential energy sources for the year 2018 pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). The five sources are electricity, natural gas, No. 2 heating oil, propane, and kerosene. These are the dollar costs that DOE will use when determining consumer cost and savings associated with a proposed minimum energy efficiency standard. These numbers are also used by manufacturers for the cost estimates that are found on the yellow energy savings label every appliance is required to display.  Because DOE publishes these numbers annually, APGA staff was able ...
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On May 9, the APGA Direct Use Task Group (DUTG) met in Alexandria, Va. The DUTG is made up of APGA members and several investor-owned utilities that have come together to respond to the increasing amount of challenges the direct use of natural gas is facing, whether it is in building codes and standards that disadvantage natural gas, or in appliance efficiency standards that lead to fuel switching away from natural gas. The collaboration of public natural gas utilities with investor-owned utilities under the DUTG effort allows both utility groups to coalesce around balanced public policy and effective advocacy and communications initiatives to counter the threat ...
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On May 11, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) responded to an inquiry regarding the installation of alternative fuel infrastructure at park-and-ride facilities on interstate rights of way (ROW). This is pursuant to 23 U.S. Code § 137, which was passed as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 2012. The letter was sent on behalf of ChargePoint and included the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Electric Vehicle Charging Association. APGA was the lone natural gas interest represented and was cited in the letter. The issue deals with whether state funds can be used to help install alternative fuel ...
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Physical and cyber threats are real and unrelenting for all critical infrastructure. It is important that all natural gas distribution systems understand the threats they are facing and the associated mitigative actions that can be taken. Currently the oil and natural gas sector does not have regulatory requirements related to security. However, there are two important guidance documents or tools that have been developed to assist systems in ensuring their assets are protected. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework was developed as a presidential directive under the Obama Administration. It represents a year's worth ...
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APGA Meets with PHMSA

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This week APGA members meet with staff from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) to discuss APGA’s concerns and priorities, as well as hear PHMSA’s agenda and strategic plan for this administration. PHMSA attendees included the Administrator of PHMSA, Skip Elliott, Associate Administrator of Pipeline Safety, Alan Mayberry, and Cameron Satterthwaite from the Standards & Rulemaking Division. APGA highlighted the membership’s commitment to pipeline safety and the associated programs and initiatives that are underway to further improve the already excellent safety record of municipal natural gas systems. APGA also asked PHMSA about ...
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On May 7, the APGA Board of Directors unanimously approved a policy resolution at their quarterly meeting held in Alexandria, Va., that addresses the benefits to ratepayers from Federal Income Tax Reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed into law in December, lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. However, all pipeline rates continue to recover from ratepayers an income tax allowance assuming a 35 percent rate. The resolution states that because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lacks the authority under the Natural Gas Act to establish a suspension or refund date for rate reductions caused by the new ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 10, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 4. An 89 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,432 Bcf as of Friday, May 4, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 89 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 863 Bcf less than last year at this time and 520 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,952 Bcf. At 1,432 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA members traveled to Washington, D.C. on May 8 and 9 to take part in the 2018 Government Relations Conference and 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 ...
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On May 7 and 8, 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.  During their meetings, APGA members and staff met with Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur, Robert Powelson, and Richard Glick. The issues that were raised in the meeting included: action taken by FERC in response to the lowering of the corporate tax rate and its impact on pipeline rates as well as FERC’s Certificate Policy which addresses the approval of pipeline projects.  APGA also addressed issues related to the direct use of natural gas and the benefit it provides.  APGA leadership meets ...
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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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On May 30 at 2:00 p.m. EST, APGA’s Research Foundation (RF) will host the final webinar in a series discussing the research that is being conducted by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). The series has focused on the major areas of research the RF supports, advancements in operational technologies, new direct use of natural gas utilization and emerging technologies. For our third webinar, we will hear from Bill Liss and Bob Morris. They will discuss some of the current research that is being developed that will help shape the future of our industry. Bill’s group, Utilization Technology Development (UTD), is at the forefront of research, development, and deployment ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 3, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, April 27. A 62 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,343 Bcf as of Friday, April 27, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 62 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 903 Bcf less than last year at this time and 534 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,877 Bcf. At 1,343 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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During the March 26-28, 2018 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) Meeting, PHMSA announced that they will be splitting the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Lines proposed rulemaking into three final rules. The first Final Rule to be developed and published by PHMSA will be focused on those topics associated with congressional mandates. The rule is titled Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements, and Other Related Amendments Rule. The associations developed and submitted a set of comments focused solely on the sections anticipated to ...
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On April 20, APGA submitted written testimony opposing the California Assembly’s Bill 3232 (AB 3232). AB 3232 requires the state’s public utility commission (PUC) to develop a plan to achieve the goal of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases by the state’s residential and commercial building stock by at least 40 percent below the 1990 levels by January 1, 2030. This bill is clearly intended to severely limit the direct use of natural gas in homes and business. The bill is counter-intuitive and simply will not achieve its stated purpose because forced switching to electric options in buildings and homes will increase the state’s carbon emissions. Moreover, ...
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On April 24, APGA hosted a webinar for Porter Novelli staff to provide a recap for APGA members on the recent studies done on consumer perception of natural gas. APGA hired Porter Novelli last fall to conduct research and develop messaging to better communicate with the American public and consumers. Porter Novelli has worked since then to conduct an audit, learn from members about issues they face in their communities, and then to hold focus groups. The focus groups were held in late-February/early-March in Atlanta and Kansas City. These focus groups were very telling and informative. It was apparent that consumers like natural gas and want it in their homes; ...
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On April 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling vacating a 2014 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order challenged by Clarksville, Tenn. In that Order, FERC ruled that the city of Clarksville would be subject to Natural Gas Act (NGA) jurisdiction for a sale of gas to another local distribution company (LDC) that took place entirely in Tennessee. The sale was to the city of Guthrie, Ky., in Tennessee. Guthrie then transported the gas across the Tennessee-Kentucky border for use in Guthrie’s distribution system. Clarksville challenged the ruling, arguing that the order was inconsistent with numerous FERC precedents over the ...
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On April 25, APGA filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) concerning the impact on interstate pipeline rates of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  The NOPR, which was approved at FERC’s March meeting, is intended to allow FERC to determine which pipelines under the Natural Gas Act (NGA) may be collecting unjust and unreasonable rates in light of the corporate tax reduction (from 35 percent to 21 percent) as part of the signing into law of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  The proposal requires interstate pipelines to file a one-time report, called FERC Form No. 501-G, on the rate effect ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, April 26, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, April 20. An 18 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,281 Bcf as of Friday, April 20, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 18 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 897 Bcf less than last year at this time and 527 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,808 Bcf. At 1,281 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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This week in St. Louis, the American Petroleum Institute is hosting their annual Pipeline Conference, which brings together hundreds of liquid and gas pipeline operators to discuss issues pertaining to operations, engineering, and safety. APGA, represented by Don Stanton, Senior Director of Gas Delivery at CPS Energy, was invited to participate in the panel presentation, “The Safety Management Systems (SMS) Journey – A Pipeline Operator Perspective.” Don was joined by three other pipeline operators that represented the various sectors of the pipeline industry: liquid pipeline, gas transmission pipeline, and investor owned gas distribution companies. Each panelist ...
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