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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 scope/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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On July 27, the President announced the nominations of both Mark Christie (R) and Alison Clements (D) as FERC commissioners. If confirmed, they would round out the Commission’s composition with 3 republican and 2 democratic members. Christie is currently the Chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission and is one of the nation’s longest-serving state utility regulators, having served for 16 years. Clements currently serves as the founder and president of Goodgrid, LLC, an energy policy and strategy consulting firm, and previously worked for a decade at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). APGA staff will monitor these nominations moving forward ...
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On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) met to discuss the Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards rulemaking ( view meeting page ). This rule proposes to require the installation of rupture valves on new or replaced gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines. It aims to address specific Congressional mandates within the Pipeline Safety Act of 2011 and National Transportation Safety Board recommendations that resulted from the 2011 San Bruno incident. The proposed rule was published on February 6, 2020, and the joint industry trade associations ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 30, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 24. A 26 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,241 Bcf as of Friday, July 24, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 26 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 626 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 429 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,812 Bcf. At 3,241 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical rang
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Washington has been holding its breath the last few weeks awaiting the Senate Republican coronavirus phase 4 bill. The bill, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools (HEALS) Act was released early this week and all signs point to much more work needing to be done before Congress recesses in August. The package, released in smaller tranches rather than in an omnibus, received tepid support from many Senate Republicans; White House officials themselves admitted they were “very far apart” with House Democrats. We expect HEALS to change significantly before passage. That said, the package does contain two key APGA priorities. The bill allows ...
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This week, three of APGA’s staff had the opportunity to present during the Louisiana Gas Association (LGA) Virtual Pipeline Safety Conference (PSC). First, John Erickson spoke on the valuable work of the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF), particularly the latest on the Simple, Handy, Risk-based Integrity Management Program (SHRIMP). Then, Erin Kurilla delivered the presentation, "Safety Management Systems for Small Operators,” which highlighted APGA’s efforts to provide resources and help public natural gas utilities in their pipeline safety management systems journey. She was also able to share on a few other beneficial APGA resources that are ...
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On July 23, organizations representing businesses and industries across the US, including APGA and the National Safety Council (NSC), penned a letter to the National Governors Association urging state leaders to take initiative on testing and tracing protocols. APGA was grateful for NSC leading this effort and was happy to support it. The letter urged governors to collaborate with business and industry heads, including from the energy sector, to create a commonsense approach to testing and tracing measures, ensuring they are effective and considerate of known best practices.    APGA began to work more closely with NSC prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ...
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From July 20 to 23, APGA held its first virtual conference—the 2020 APGA Annual Conference. The conference was originally scheduled to be held in Chicago, but was changed to a virtual event due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The conference began on the morning of Monday, July 20 with an opening by APGA’s 2019-2020 Chairman, Samuel Davis, Jr., from Lake Apopka Natural Gas District. Sam gave an overview of his tenure as APGA Chairman, and announced the 2020 APGA Awards. After Sam’s presentation, Dena Wiggins from the Natural Gas Supply Association gave a presentation on natural gas supply and demand. Later in the day, Bethany Sims and Pawan Bhatia from Porter ...
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Larry Herald, former Utilities General Manager for Paintsville, KY and a past APGA Board Member, passed away on July 21, 2020, at home surrounded by family. Larry was the General Manager of Paintsville Utilities from 1998-2012 and was active in many state and national associations. Larry served on the APGA Board of Directors from 2001-2011. APGA is deeply grateful for his volunteerism and dedication to better our association, as well remembering his fantastic sense of humor. In addition, Larry was a dedicated family man, proud grandfather, avid outdoorsman, and served on the Board of Trustees for many years at the First United Methodist Church of Paintsville. ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 23, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 17. A 37 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,215 Bcf as of Friday, July 17, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 37 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 656 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 436 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,779 Bcf. At 3,215 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range
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In addition to the APGA Virtual Annual Conference, the Southern Gas Association (SGA) hosted a few sessions of their Natural Gas Connect (NGC) Academy the week of July 23rd. APGA was invited to present, alongside the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), in a presentation entitled, “The Unintended Consequences of Electrification: Rising Costs to Consumers.” To begin, a representative from GTI spoke on challenges and alternative strategies for a managed carbon future. APGA staff was able to complement that discussion with details on natural gas policy “wins,” such as the consumer choice legislation recently passed in Arizona, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However, ...
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On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a division of the Executive Office of the President, released a final rule updating the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA was signed into law on January 1, 1970, and this is the first update to the regulations since their original promulgation in 1978. The final rule “comprehensively updates, modernizes and clarifies the regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews by Federal agencies in connection with proposals for agency action.” These updates are aimed at streamlining the complicated NEPA process, which has ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 16, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 10. A 45 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,178 Bcf as of Friday, July 10, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 45 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 663 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 436 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,742 Bcf. At 3,178 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range
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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 June 29, APGA submitted a comment letter in response to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) proposed extension and updates of the Natural Gas Data Collection Program, which gathers information on natural gas underground storage, supply, processing, transmission, distribution, consumption by sector, and consumer prices. Because APGA members own and operate retail natural gas distribution entities, they are subject to certain reporting requirements under this program and could be impacted by any changes. Through its letter, APGA supported the comments of the American Gas Association (AGA) and Spire. APGA echoed our support for the proposed ...
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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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