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On September 16, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to consider the nominations of Mark Christie, a Republican, and Allison Clements, a Democrat, as commissioners for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  During the hearing, both nominees noted their commitment to maintaining the independence of FERC and considering all appropriate information when making decisions.  Clements discussed her “tremendous respect for FERC and its role as an independent, bipartisan commission,” noting her “commitment to keep an open mind” if her nomination is confirmed. Christie explained that he “will absolutely respect and defend that ...
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On September 16, the International Code Council (ICC) Board met to consider recent appeals, during which APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) reiterated their arguments that two new provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) were preempted by federal appliance efficiency laws and should not be included in the final code. The Appeals Board that heard the cases on August 31 had recommended that the ICC Board deny all preemption appeals, reasoning that “the appellants did not provide ample information of a violation of any written process,” but further noted that “appellants did raise significant questions about federal preemption” and ...
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On September 15, APGA submitted a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) in response to its request for information pertaining to planned research and development on hydrogen technology and associated priorities. Through the letter, APGA indicated its support for the agency to focus its efforts and funding on ways to enable existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure to deliver hydrogen to various end-use markets, including developing uniform codes and standards for safe and reliable transportation and direct-use applications with varying blends of hydrogen. APGA’s letter also indicates support for a similarly ...
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APGA, jointly with the American Gas Association (AGA), Northeast Gas Association (NGA), Southern Gas Association (SGA) and MEA Energy, is pleased to announce that the National Mutual Aid Agreement has been finalized. The agreement has been in development for over a year, and APGA staff has been engaged throughout the entire process. When a major disaster hits a region, the need to restore service can sometimes exceed the capacity of regional resources and could even stretch thin the resources of public utilities alone. The National Mutual Aid Agreement was developed to allow natural gas utilities, both public and private, from across the participating associations ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, September 17, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, September 11. An 89 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,614 Bcf as of Friday, September 11, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 89 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 535 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 421 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,193 Bcf. At 3,614 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.
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This week, Stuart Saulters, APGA Vice President of Government Relations, and Erin Kurilla, APGA Vice President of Operations & Safety, presented during the Carolinas Public Gas Association (CPGA) Virtual Annual Conference. Stuart led a presentation on Monday called “Climate Change and Natural Gas: Concern and How You Help” where he gave a brief introduction of the electrification issue, and followed up by detailing how public natural gas systems are engaging in both regulatory and legislative discussions that will ensure Americans continue to have energy choices. He also talked about the positive communications efforts, including the Natural Gas Genius ...
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APGA was one of several organizations that signed on to a letter submitted to Congress this week. The National Safety Council (NSC) led an effort to highlight the importance of maintaining safety in critical operations, including that of public natural gas utilities, when considering changes to drug policy. The submission did not address legalization but highlighted to Congress concerns about the current and potential implications for workplace health and safety absent careful consideration of the proposed marijuana legislation. Specifically discussed was the lack of scientific definitions for impairment levels for marijuana. The drug testing protocols from the ...
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This week, the hearing to consider the nominations of Mark Christie, a Republican, and Allison Clements, a Democrat, as commissioners for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was announced. The Senate hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. EDT and will be available to watch online. Earlier this summer, the President announced the nominations of both Christie and Clements as FERC commissioners. If confirmed, they would round out FERC’s composition with three Republican and two Democrat members. Christie is currently the Chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission and is one of the nation’s longest-serving state ...
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On September 16, the International Code Council (ICC) Board will meet to consider the preemption appeal jointly filed by APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA), among others. The preemption hearing was held on August 31, during which, APGA and AGA argued that two new provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) were preempted by federal appliance efficiency laws and should not be included in the final code. The Appeals Board that heard the cases are recommending that the ICC Board deny all preemption appeals, reasoning that “the appellants did not provide ample information of a violation of any written process.” However, they further note ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, September 10, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, September 4. A 70 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,525 Bcf as of Friday, September 4, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 70 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 528 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 409 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,116 Bcf. At 3,525 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, September 3, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, August 28. A 35 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,455 Bcf as of Friday, August 28, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 35 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 538 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 407 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,048 Bcf. At 3,455 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.
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September 4 will be the last day at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for Commissioner Bernard McNamee. Commissioner McNamee’s term was set to expire earlier this year on June 30, but he chose to stay on longer as is permitted. His departure leaves Chairman Chatterjee, a Republican, Commissioner Glick, a Democrat, and Commissioner Danly, a Republican, as the remaining members of FERC, still meeting the quorum requirements for FERC to continue its work. Earlier this summer the President announced the nominations of both Mark Christie, a Republican, and Alison Clements, a Democrat, as FERC commissioners. If confirmed, they would round out FERC’s ...
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The International Code Council (ICC) has held two hearings on appeals arising from the recent cycle of the code development process. During these hearings, APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) argued their jointly filed appeal of four ICC actions related to provisions in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) before an ICC Appeals Board. The federal preemption hearing was held on August 31 at 10:00 AM ET, and the scope/intent hearing was held on September 3 at 10:00 AM ET. Of note, in a memo to the Appeals Board and in their verbal presentation, ICC staff recommended that the scope/intent appeals should be sustained. Recommendations from the ...
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APGA's 2020 Operations Conference is going virtual! The conference will run over three weeks starting October 19. Sessions will be two-hour blocks spread out over three weeks on Tuesdays (Operations & Engineering Track), Wednesdays (Transmission Pipeline Track), and Thursdays (Safety & Compliance), with one-hour bonus sessions on Fridays. Agenda, session schedule and more are now available at www.apga.org/fallevent/conference . For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-905-2904 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org
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Join APGA on October 2 at 11:00 AM ET for a virtual roundtable on conducting mock drills. APGA members will share their best practices when developing scenarios and performing mock drill exercises. Registration is free for APGA members and can be found  here . For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-905-2904 or by email at  ekurilla@apga.org
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APGA’s thoughts and prayers go out to those members that may have been impacted by the recent storms that struck the Gulf Coast states. As well as others that may be in the path of Hurricane Laura as it moves inland. APGA hopes all stay safe. APGA staff has communicated with the government agencies with roles in emergency response, including the Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). They stand ready to assist public natural gas utilities, so please reach out to APGA staff to liaise with these groups if needed. As well, APGA’s Mutual Aid Program may be ...
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Do not miss this chance to sponsor the 2020 APGA Operations Conference! The 2019 APGA Operations Conference attracted over 250 natural gas distribution industry professionals from more than 70 public gas systems. This year, APGA's 2020 Operations Conference is going virtual over three weeks starting October 19 and could be even bigger! APGA is offering four sponsorship options for this conference. View our 2020 Operations Conference Sponsorship website page at www.apga.org/fallevent/sponsor  for registration and sponsorship tier information, as well as check out our Sponsorship Benefits Packet (PDF) .  Visit  www.apga.org/fallevent/conference  for session ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, August 27, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, August 21. A 45 Bcf increase has been reported.  Working gas in storage was 3,420 Bcf as of Friday, August 21, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 45 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 580 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 438 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,982 Bcf. At 3,420 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range
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For those interested in watching the International Code Council’s (ICC’s) appeal hearings next week, registration is now available online. To register for the federal preemption hearing, which will be held on August 31 at 10:00 AM ET, please click  here . To register for the scope/intent hearing, which will be held on September 3 at 10:00 AM ET, please click  here . APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) will be arguing their   jointly filed appeal of four ICC actions related to provisions in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)   during these hearings. APGA, through the appeal, contended that these provisions should have been prevented ...
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On August 26, the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions was formally published in the Federal Register. This publication provided updates to the Spring 2020 agenda, which  was released on the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) website  earlier this summer. The agenda identifies rulemakings that agencies plan to initiate or further within the next year, as well as long-term regulatory actions. For example, the Department of Energy’s agenda is filled with numerous appliance efficiency rulemakings, many of which could impact APGA members as they involve gas-fired appliances. In the same vein, it is also important to note that all ...
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