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The partial federal government shutdown is now in its 27th day and is the longest shutdown in our nation’s history. The federal departments impacted by the shutdown include the Departments of: Transportation; State; Agriculture; Commerce; and several others. In terms of the agencies that APGA interacts with, the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have not been impacted by the shutdown. However, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have been impacted by the shutdown and as a result have had to furlough many of their employees. At this point it remains unclear when Congress ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, January 17, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, January 11. An 81 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,533 Bcf as of Friday, January 11, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 81 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 77 Bcf less than last year at this time and 327 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,860 Bcf. At 2,533 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, January 10, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, January 4. A 91 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,614 Bcf as of Friday, January 4, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 91 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 204 Bcf less than last year at this time and 464 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,078 Bcf. At 2,614 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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The 116th Congress gaveled in on January 3, with dozens of new Representatives and a handful of new Senators taking their oaths of office to begin work for the next two years. A number of key legislative issues need to be tackled in this new era of divided government. It is anyone’s guess how effective this Congress will be, but APGA members should be aware that the 116th will likely impact them in one way or another. Voters sent a new House and Senate to Washington in 2018. In the Senate, the Republican majority was strengthened to 53, and the Democrat minority sits at 45 with two independent Senators caucusing with them. The House flipped party control as ...
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APGA has received 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 on the priorities for public natural 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. with their elected representatives in both the ...
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It has been reported that Commissioner McIntyre passed away yesterday. The Commissioner had been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and underwent surgery in 2017. Commissioner McIntyre was confirmed by the Senate as Chairman of the Commission in November 2017 to a term that would have expired in June 2023. Prior to joining the Commission, Commissioner McIntyre was the co-leader of the global Energy Practice at the law firm Jones Day. He relinquished his role as Chairman last year to deal with his health-related issues but retained his seat on the Commission. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 ...
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Last night, the Senate confirmed by voice vote the President’s nomination of Daniel Simmons to serve as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Department of Energy. Mr. Simmons was appointed acting head of EERE in May 2017. Prior to joining DOE, he served as Vice President of Policy at the Institute for Energy Research. APGA has been actively engaged in the work of EERE given their role in developing appliance efficiency standards. Last June, APGA sent a letter to the Senate Energy Committee in support of Mr. Simmons’ nomination. In the letter, APGA stated that “Mr. Simmons’ knowledge and experience provides him with the ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, December 20, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, December 14. A 141 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,773 Bcf as of Friday, December 14, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 141 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 697 Bcf less than last year at this time and 720 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,493 Bcf. At 2,773 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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The Voluntary Information Sharing-System (VIS) Working Group was established by Congress through a mandate in the 2016 SAFE PIPES Act. The mandate asked the Secretary of Transportation to consider the development of a voluntary information sharing system to encourage the collaborative efforts to improve inspection information feedback and information sharing with the purpose of improving gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facility integrity risk analysis. The scope of the VIS expanded quickly to include distribution pipelines and information from incident lessons learned, near-misses, and DIMP risk analyses. On December 18 and 19, the VIS Work Group ...
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Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has been named Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the 116th Congress, which begins in January 2019. He replaces Senator Cantwell (D-Wash.) who vacated the Ranking Member position on the Energy Committee to assume the role of Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee—a position that opened up with the election defeat of Senator Nelson (D-Fla.). Senator Manchin, being from a coal state, holds much more pro-fossil-fuel energy positions than most of his caucus. In a press statement, Senator Manchin stated, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue to serve West ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, December 13, 2018, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, December 7. A 77 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,914 Bcf as of Friday, December 7, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 77 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 722 Bcf less than last year at this time and 723 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,637 Bcf. At 2,914 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
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On December 11, APGA members and staff met with the leadership team at the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). Rich Worsinger, from City of Rocky Mount, N.C., and John Leary, from Borough of Chambersburg, Penn., led the discussion on behalf of APGA member systems. They were joined by Bert Kalisch, Erin Kurilla, and Doug MacGillivray from APGA staff. Among the eight attendees from PHMSA were Administrator Skip Elliott, Deputy Administrator Drue Pearce, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety Alan Mayberry, and Chief Counsel Paul Roberti. The discussion focused on mutual goals between APGA and PHMSA for 2019 and beyond. Those goals ...
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On December 11, 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. The APGA representatives that participated in the meeting included: Owen Reeves, Chairman of the APGA Board of Directors and Gas System Director for Henderson Municipal Gas; Sam Davis, APGA First Vice Chair and General Manger & Chief Executive Officer of Lake Apopka Natural Gas District; John Leary, APGA Second Vice Chair and Gas Superintendent for the Borough of Chambersburg; Donnie Sharp, Chair of the APGA Regulatory Subcommittee and Senior Natural Gas Supply Coordinator for Huntsville ...
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Early this month, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Appeals Panel overturned Standard 62.2 Committee’s ban on unvented combustion heating appliances. The appeal filed by the Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and several organizations, such as National Propane Gas Association and The Ventfree Alliance, contested an ASHRAE Board action to approve “Addendum A” of Standard 62.2. The Panel ruled in favor of AHRI and the other organizations. Addendum A would have banned unvented combustion appliances in Standard 62.2-compliant homes. The Appeals found that SSPC 62.2, which is responsible for ...
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Today, the Senate approved the President’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The nomination was approved on a 50-49 vote with all of the Democrats voting against the nomination. A confirmation hearing on Mr. McNamee’s nomination was held on November 15. During the hearing, there was a focus on Mr. McNamee’s involvement, while at the Department of Energy (DOE), in the administration’s efforts to provide economic relief to struggling coal and nuclear plants. Mr. McNamee communicated that FERC rejected the administration’s proposal on a 5-0 vote earlier this year and that if confirmed he ...
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On December 6, APGA held a webinar for its members to provide an overview of APGA’s legislative and regulatory activities in 2018. The webinar was presented by Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President, and Dan Lapato and Doug MacGillivray, Directors of Government Affairs. During the webinar they discussed APGA advocacy efforts on a number of issues including comprehensive tax reform legislation, energy legislation as well as a number of Department of Energy (DOE) rulemakings. During the webinar, staff discussed the push by APGA to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) take action to ensure that pipeline consumers receive the benefit, in ...
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On January 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST, APGA will be hosting a webinar on the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Plastic Pipe Rule. The final rule was published on November 20, 2018 and operators have until January 22, 2019 to align their standards and procedures with the new requirements. The webinar will walk attendees through each new requirement and provide compliance guidance. To register for the webinar, please go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6243217633273880833 . For information on the Plastic Pipe Final Rule, please go to https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/11/20/2018-24925/pipeline-safety-plastic-pipe-rule ...
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On December 5, APGA Vice President of Operations & Safety, Erin Kurilla, addressed the 31st Annual Alabama Public Service Commission’s Pipeline Safety Seminar. Erin spent the majority of her presentation discussing the September 13, 2018 natural gas incident in Merrimack Valley, Mass. She shared details from the incident, as reported by the National Transportation Safety Board, and highlighted the urgent recommendations issued. She also provided insights on how natural gas distribution operators might prepare for the potential implementation of these recommendations. Alabama has 74 publicly owned natural gas systems, 64 of which are APGA member systems. ...
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On November 26, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing at the South Lawrence East Middle School Gymnasium in Lawrence, Mass. The hearing was titled “Pipeline Safety in the Merrimack Valley: Incident Prevention and Response” and the following members of Congress were in attendance: Senator Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Hassan (D-N.H.), Representative Moulton (D-Mass.), and Representative Tsongas (D-Mass.). Witnesses included representatives from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), National Transportations Safety Board (NTSB), the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, ...
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On November 26, APGA sent a letter to Chairman Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Cantwell (D-Wash.) of the Senate Energy Committee in support of the President’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to fill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seat formerly held by Commissioner Rob Powelson. Mr. McNamee is currently the head of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy and prior to that he served as a DOE Deputy General Counsel. In his role at DOE, Mr. McNamee was one of the architects of DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposed to provide cost recovery to electric generation plants with 90 days of fuel onsite. Before joining DOE, ...
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