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PUBLIC GAS NEWS

Inside this Issue

2

Senate Debates and Drops Climate Change Legislation

2

APGA Annual Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

3

APGA and Other Consumer Groups Support Climate Change Provisions

3

APGA Supports Amendment to Increase Natural Gas Supply

4

Georgia Receives First Damage Prevention Grant Under PIPES Act

4

APGA Speaks at Bond Buyer Conference

5

FERC Commissioner Addresses role of Natural Gas in Low-Carbon Future

5

APGA Offers Ad Space for Appliance Manufacturers in the 2009 APGA Calendar

6

Plan to Attend the Training and Education Workshop on September 8 – 12

7

PHMSA Reiterates Excess Flow Valve Mandate

Lands End Deals on APGA Apparel Did you know? Lands End is offering free shipping on orders over $500 from now until June 20. visit the website:

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June 16, 2008 Volume 27 Number 11

Senate Debates and Drops Climate Change Legislation

Last Friday, Senators finished a week-long debate on climate change legislation sponsored by Senators Boxer (D-CA), Liebermann (D-CT) and Warner (R-VA). The BoxerLieberman-Warner bill seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 19% below current levels by 2020 and 71% by 2050. The bill uses a cap-and-trade mechanism to achieve the emission reductions. An overall cap is placed on greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. carbon dioxide) from 2012-2050 and certain emitters are responsible for turning in tradable permits each year to meet the cap’s overall requirements.

The bill was never expected to pass the Senate. The bill was dropped after Senators attempted to vote to end debate on the legislation. The vote to end debate failed 48-36, far short of the 60 votes needed. Both sides acknowledged that climate change legislation will not pass this year, and the Senate moved onto address other energy-related legislation. The climate change debate provided some insight into future legislation that will be a top priority for the next Congress and both Presidential candidates. Hundreds of amendments were planned or offered by Senators to this year’s continued on p. 2


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APGA Public Gas News

Publisher: Bert Kalisch Editor: Kristin Gomez Writers: APGA Staff Layout: Marghet Hager For Questions and Comments: Marghet Hager 202.464.0832 or mhager@apga.org Public Gas News is published biweekly by the American Public Gas Association Copyright 2008 American Public Gas Association All rights reserved. This is intended for actual subscriber use only. You may not forward, distribute, copy or republish this newsletter in any manner without the express written consent of the American Public Gas Association.

www.apga.org

Senate Debates and Drops Climate Change Legislation continued from p. 1

bill, but ultimately none were voted on. APGA learned that Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) had drafted two natural gas related amendments to the climate change bill. The first amendment would exempt residential and commercial natural gas emissions from a climate change program. The second amendment would temporarily exempt residential and commercial natural gas emissions until 2020, at which time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could recommend to the Congress that the point of regulation be placed downstream on natural gas LDCs. The current bill regulates natural gas emissions upstream at the processing plant. AGPA met with Senator Landrieu’s staff to share APGA’s views. They told staff that APGA supported a complete exemption for residential and commercial natural gas emissions from a climate change program. APGA has concerns about the second amendment, which recommends the point of regulation for natural gas emissions be placed further downstream onto the LDC. Over 500 gas systems have 5 employees or less, and APGA believes these small public gas systems would lack the resources to monitor their greenhouse gas emissions and navigate a complex emissions trading market. Senator Landrieu’s staff was receptive to APGA’s concerns. For more information on this article or APGA’s efforts related to climate change legislation, please contact Nate Hill at 202-464-2742 or by email at nhill@apga.org.

June 16, 2008

APGA Annual Conference Sponsorship Opportunities The APGA Annual Conference will be here soon. There are still ample opportunities for public gas system members and associate members to support the conference by being a sponsor. You should have received a sponsorship form in your conference registration packet, or you can on our website or simply go directly here http://www.apga.org/Monterey-2008/ AC_Sponsorship.pdf. Sponsorships range from $500 to $5,000, so there are options to fit every budget. We look forward to seeing you at what is sure to be the highest attended conference in APGA history. For further information, please contact Sheila Deringis at 207-642-5062 or sheila@apga.org


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

APGA Supports Amendment to Increase Natural Gas Supply

On June 5, APGA sent a letter to Congressman Peterson (R-PA) that expressed strong support for an amendment he intends to offer during the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee mark-up of the FY’ 2009 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. Congressman Peterson’s amendment would revise the moratoria currently in place that prevents exploration in the outer continental shelf (OCS) to allow natural gas and oil exploration from 50 miles out from the coast. The Congressman had discussed his effort when he spoke at the APGA Government Relations Conference in

early May. APGA has maintained that increasing supply is a fundamental component of the solution to longterm affordable natural gas. In its letter to the Congressman, APGA states that “As our country moves into an era of even greater reliance on natural gas, sound energy policy requires that we secure an accompanying increase in supply.” The letter further states that the amendment “must be considered a critical step as Congress begins to address climate change by looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” It is APGA’s position that for every additional unit of demand created by the

passage of climate change legislation, a matching unit of supply must also be added to minimize the impact upon consumers. The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to begin consideration of the FY’2009 Interior Appropriations Bill on June 11th. A copy of APGA’s letter to Congressman Peterson is available on the APGA website at www. apga.org. If you have any questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.

APGA and Other Consumer Groups Support Climate Change Provisions

On June 4, APGA, the American Gas Association, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and several other groups sent a letter to the Senate that communicated the importance of providing emission allowances, as part of climate change legislation, to local utilities. The Lieberman-Warner climate change bill currently provides emission allowances to local utilities. The bill further states that the allowances can be sold and the revenue gained from those sales can be used to help offset the impact of energy price increases upon low and middle-income consumers. The sale of allowances can also be used for energy efficiency

programs. In the letter, APGA and others state that “emissions allowances to LDCs are critically important to directing, in a transparent manner, the value of allowances to electricity and natural gas consumers for use in ways that will help them manage costs and reduce energy usage.” The letter goes onto state that “Allocating allowances to LDCs are an effective and important way to help electricity and natural gas consumers address the challenges of rising energy costs.” APGA continues to express concern to Congress regarding the impact that climate change legislation could have on natural gas prices. APGA continues to maintain that to the extent

additional demand for natural gas is created through the legislation, there needs to be a corresponding increase in supply. A copy of the letter referenced in this article is available on the APGA website at www.apga.org or at http://www.apga.org/upload/ Dear%20Senator%20LDC%20Allocation%20Letter%20060408%20 Final_1017830529_6112008090150. pdf. If you have any questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.

Location and Dates Set for 2009 MDC – Mark Your Calendar Now

The 2009 Market Development Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA on March 23 – 25, 2009 at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel. The venue will also provide free transport between the hotel and airport. The hotel site is: http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/ATLAAHH-Hilton-Atlanta-AirportGeorgia/index.do?WT.srch=1 The daily hotel rate will be $119 + tax. The tentative cut-off date for this

rate is March 8, 2009. The MDC Task Force, under the leadership of Jimmy Sprouse of York County Natural Gas Authority, will be working hard on your behalf to put together an excellent program that will arm attendees with valuable new marketing and customer service skills…. skills that can be immediately implemented back home. An important change for this up-

coming conference is the decision of the Task Force to partner with several State Gas Associations in planning and executing the 2009 MDC. Any State Gas Association that wishes to discuss or commit to this partnership is asked to call or email Bob Beauregard at 202-464-0831 or bbeauregard@apga.org.


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

Georgia Receives First Damage Prevention Grant Under PIPES Act The Georgia Public Service Commission accepted the first federal grant check for $100,000 from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to expand the Commission’s efforts in preventing damage to Georgia’s underground utilities. This is the first federal grant of its type to any state for damage prevention, education and enforcement efforts since the passage of the federal PIPES Act of 2006. APGA actively supported including the grant program in the PIPES Act since it recognized that operators alone cannot eliminate 3rd party damage without effective state damage prevention programs. The idea for Federal grants

came from the Phase 1 Report on Distribution Integrity Management Programs. PHMSA Administrator Carl Johnson presented the check to Commissioner Doug Everett who was joined by fellow Commissioners Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise. They were joined by representatives of the Commission, PHMSA, UPC, Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light, AT&T and other representatives of organizations involved in the prevention of damage to Georgia’s underground utility infrastructure. The grant recognizes the Commission’s damage prevention program as a model for other states

to follow in reducing damages to underground utilities by educating excavators and utilities in avoiding accidents that can cause expensive and often dangerous damage to buried utilities. For further information contact John Erickson, APGA Vice President, Operations 202-464-0834 or jerickson@ apga.org.

APGA Speaks at Bond Buyer Conference On June 2, APGA participated in the Bond Buyer’s 3rd Annual Conference on the Financing of Prepaid Energy Contracts. The conference was held in Houston, TX. The conference focused on issues related to the use of tax-exempt financing for the prepayment of natural gas contracts. The conference began with a panel entitled “America’s Energy future: What’s the Public-Sector’s Role”. Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President, was joined on the panel by Mark Crisson, President & CEO of the American Public Power Association, and Barry Smitherman, Chair of the Texas Public

Utility Commission. In his opening remarks, Dave discussed APGA’s involvement in successfully working towards the issuance of a new IRS regulation that came out in 2002 as well as obtaining the inclusion of safe harbor language in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. He provided an overview of some of the key issues that APGA has been working on, including increasing natural gas supply as a means to obtain long-term affordable natural gas. He also discussed the critical role market transparency plays in terms of helping ensure that the price consumers pay for

natural gas accurately reflects supply/ demand fundamentals and is not the result of market manipulation or other market abuses. Lastly, he discussed concerns APGA has expressed to Congress in regard to the impact climate change legislation could have on natural gas prices. If you have any questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff by email at dschryver@apga.org or by phone at 202-464-2742.


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

FERC Commissioner Addresses Role of Natural gas in Low-Carbon Future FERC Commissioner Suedeen G. Kelly spoke to members of the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington on May 28 to give her perspective on the role of natural gas in a low carbon future. Executive Vice President Dave Schryver and Director of Government Affairs Nate Hill represented APGA at the event. Commissioner Kelly’s comments were timely as the full U.S. Senate is debating climate change this week. Kelly told the group that natural gas is clearly the most viable option as a base load fuel for electricity generation over the next decade before nuclear power plants can be constructed and technology to capture and store carbon from coal-fired

electric generating power plants is developed and widely deployed. Kelly added that the increased demand for natural gas is likely to cause a “feedback loop” between the prices of natural gas and coal. Under the current legislation being debated in the Senate sponsored by Senators Lieberman, Warner and Boxer, carbon emissions must be priced at about $30 per ton for natural gas to be a more economical fuel to burn than coal. However, as more natural gas is consumed and supplies become tighter, prices will increase. And if the price to emit carbon does not rise accordingly, burning coal as fuel -- even with the extra emission costs

-- becomes a viable option again. This uncertainty makes it difficult for utilities to make the long-term plans necessary to meet their customer’s energy needs. If you have any further questions please contact Nate Hill at 202-464-2742 or nhill@apga.org.

APGA Offers Ad Space for Appliance Manufacturers in the 2009 APGA Calendar

APGA has partnered with Florida publisher Naylor LLC to offer appliance manufacturers the opportunity to advertise in the AGPA 2009 Calendar. During the month of June, Naylor will make calls on behalf of APGA to all residential natural gas appliance manufacturers offering them the opportunity to purchase advertising space in our upcoming calendar. Space is

limited and the calendar will feature only thirteen appliance manufacturers along with an interesting narrative for each appliance and a high-quality lifestyle photograph. When Naylor does call please consider purchasing an advertisement. APGA and Naylor have also partnered on the publication of the APGA Directory and the new APGA maga-

zine, THE SOURCE. During their calls on calendar advertising, Naylor will also be offering the manufacturers an opportunity to advertise in the directory and magazine. For more information, please contact Bob Beauregard at 202-464-0831 or bbeauregard@apga.org.


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

Plan to Attend the Training and Education Workshop September 8 – 12

For the third consecutive year, APGA will co-sponsor the Training and Education Workshop on September 8-12 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Decatur, AL and at the Leak City Training Center in Athens, AL. This workshop will feature professional development opportunities for all levels of public gas system operations personnel. Last year’s T&E Workshop attracted over 200 participants. This year’s workshop promises to be even bigger. Sessions held at Leak City will include classroom and hands-on testing in corrosion control, valves operation & maintenance, regulators, tapping and stopping, odorization, leak Investigation, locating and damage prevention, purging, plastic fusion and steel & plastic pipe repair. Evaluations may be used to satisfy operator re-qualification requirements and are recognized by the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF). At Decatur, sessions will include an Operations and

Regulatory Compliance Round Table, Professional Development Workshop, and Safety Roundtable. Also in Decatur will be an exposition of the latest utility products and services offered by our associate members. Other sponsoring organizations are the Alabama Natural Gas Association, Mississippi Natural Gas Association, Mississippi Public Service Commission, Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, Southern Gas Association, Tennessee Gas Association, Tennessee Regulatory Authority and Athens Utilities. Registration information can be downloaded from http://www. apga.org/upload/NaturalGasFall WorkshopAnnouncement2008 Final_181556691_5132008120649.pdf (no spaces). For further information contact John Erickson, APGA Vice President, Operations 202-464-0834 or jerickson@apga.org.

PHMSA has added two new senior staff additions to PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) John Gale, previously employed in PHMSA’s hazardous materials regulatory program, becomes the Director of Regulations at OPS. He is currently the Chief, Standards Development in the Office of Hazardous Materials Standards (OHMS) and is responsible for producing and maintaining a national and international regulatory program for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials, harmonizing domestic standards with international standards, and providing guidance in compliance and enforcement of these standards. He played a vital role in developing and implementing the Department’s hazardous materials safety policies following the ValuJet incident in 1996, and its policies in response to the incidents involving the transportation of lithium batteries

aboard aircraft. He also led the Office of Hazardous Materials response to a Regulatory Review Initiative that resulted in the elimination of hundreds of pages of Federal regulations. Lastly, John also played a vital role in the development and management of the Hazardous Materials Information Center and the development of the Office of Hazardous Materials web site. Rod Dyck becomes Director of Enforcement at OPS. He was formerly Associate Director of the Pipeline Division at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) where he was responsible for supervising the NTSB’s pipeline program. Rod’s current title is Principal Pipeline Engineer, where he serves as the NTSB’s recognized technical expert for all pipeline matters. Before going to work for

the NTSB, Rod worked for San Diego Gas & Electric Company, gaining extensive experience in both natural gas transmission and distribution pipeline systems. He chaired pipeline technical committees, received the American Gas Association’s Award of Merit, and authored numerous technical publications. Rod graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with M.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in California and Illinois. APGA looks forward to working with both Rod and John as they fulfill their new duties at PHMSA. For further information contact John Erickson, APGA Vice President, Operations at 202-464-0834 or by email at jerickson@apga.org.


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

PHMSA Reiterates Excess Flow Valve Mandate

On June 5, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an bulletin urging gas utilities to install excess flow valves (EFVs) on all new and replaced single residential service line if the line operates continuously at or above 10 psig. In December, 2006 Congress ordered the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to amend its regulations to require such installation of EFVs however PHMSA will not have its rules in effect for some time. Both PHMSA and APGA are encouraging utilities to install EFVs beginning June 1 despite the delay in issuing the rule.

Each system will have to modify its service line construction standards to include EFV specifications and acquire a supply of EFVs. In addition, service line installers will have to be trained how to purge air from a service containing an EFV, since the traditional method of purging as fast as possible will cause the EFV to close. The PHMSA advisory was faxed to all APGA members on June 5, along with a survey intended to gather information about interest in discounted purchases of EFVs for APGA members. If you have not yet completed this survey, please do so

and fax it to 202-464-0246. We will keep you informed of the progress of the discounted purchasing program. A copy of the survey http:// www.apga.org/upload/EFV%20survey_1017830853_6112008111629. doc and the PHMSA advisory can be downloaded at http://www.apga.org/ upload/E8-12566_1017830853_6112 00811168.pdf. You can also fill out the survey on page 8 of Public Gas News and fax it to 202-464-0246. For further information please contact John Erickson, APGA Vice President, Operations at 202-464-0834 or by email at jerickson@apga.org.

APGA Welcomes David Naples as Our New Program Assistant

David Naples, Program Assistant

David Naples joined the American Public Gas Association last week as Program Assistant. Before coming to the APGA he worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry in a number of roles. David grew up in the green mountains of Manchester, VT. In May 2008 he graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History

and a minor in Civil War Era Studies. Currently he lives in Gaithersburg, MD and enjoys studying American military history with a focus on the American Civil War and World War I.

APGA and Lands’ End Partner to Bring You Logo’d Apparel

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even after work. •More sizes: we fit extra smalls to big-and-talls. •Personal service: we’ll walk you through your order, offer advice on product styles, and even suggest outfitting options. •Buy more, save more: call for increased discounts on bulk orders.

Order online at ces.landsend.com/ APGA (case sensitive - no need to add www). Your 10% discount will be applied at checkout. Or call us at 800-419-1097.


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www.apga.org

June 16, 2008

Today the Pipeline And Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the attached notice in the Federal Register advising operators of a provision in the PIPES Act of 2006 that instructed PHMSA to include in its Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP) rule a requirement that, beginning June 1, operators install EFVs on new and replaced service lines to single residences if the line operates at or above 10 psig. PHMSA will not complete the DIMP regulation by the June 1 deadline so PHMSA is encouraging operators to begin installing EFVs even though the rule has not been issued. APGA is also encouraging members to follow PHMSA’s recommendation and begin installing EFVs after June 1. One issue many members have raised is that small utilities that only install or replace a few services each year cannot purchase EFVs at the low price offered to larger utilities. APGA is talking with an EFV manufacturer about options that would allow small systems to purchase EFVs at a lower price. In order to determine if there is sufficient interest please answer the following questions and fax it to APGA at 202-464-0246. Name: ___________________________________________________________________________ System___________________________________________________________________________ How many services to single residences do you install or replace in an average year? ____________ What size EFV do you install in a single residential service (e.g. 400 cfh, 800 cfh, etc)?____________ PRESORTED When you buy EFVs, are they (check all that apply): STANDARD pre-installed in a tapping tee? _______ U.S. POSTAGE pre-installed in a length of pipe? ______ PAID FAIRFAX, VA other configuration (please describe) Permit ____________________________________________ No. 6241 If APGA members were offered a low price (e.g. ~$10/valve plus shipping) but this only applied to a limited number of valve sizes and configurations (e.g. either a 400 or 800 size EFV preinstalled in a stick of ½”, ¾” or 1” PE pipe), how likely is it that your system would purchase these EFVs? Definitely Very Likely Unlikely Not interested Thank you for your help. For further information contact John Erickson, APGA Vice President, Operations (202-464-0834 or jerickson@apga. org).

AMERICAN PUBLIC GAS ASSOCIATION

201 Massachusetts Ave NE Suite C-4 Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 800.927.4204 Fax: 202.464.0246 Web: www.apga.org

PRESORTED FIRST-CLASS U.S. POSTAGE PAID FAIRFAX, VA Permit No. 6241

Cut and fax -------------------------Cut and fax -------------------------Cut and fax -------------------------Cut and fax -------------------------Cut and fax -------------------------Cut and fax --------------------------------Cut and fax

PHMSA EVF Survey


June 16, 2008 Public Gas News