Issuu on Google+

PUBLIC GAS NEWS

September 2, 2008 Volume 27 Number 16

Inside this Issue

2

Pelosi Warms to Offshore Drilling As Part of Broader Energy Legislation

2

Congress Expected to Address Energy Legislation After Conventions

3

Reminder: Natural Gas Price Communication Kit Materials Available on the APGA Website

3 4

APGA Award Winner List 2008 Management Salary Survey Sent Out

4

APGA Members Push Federal Lawmakers to Support Bipartisan Plan to Increase Domestic Supplies

4

PHMSA Extends Cooperative Agreement with APGA Security and Integrity Foundation

4

APGA Membership Invoices to Be Mailed Out in September

5

The Pipeline Section

6

APGA Speaks on OQ/DIMP at the Western Regional Gas Conference

7 8

Pelosi Warms to Offshore Drilling As Part of Broader Energy Legislation

CRE Application Form John Riordan Tribute

Are Your Employees Reading THE SOURCE? To have your employees receive a free subscription to THE SOURCE please contact Marghet Hager at mhager@apga.org

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House Photo Source: http://speaker.gov/newsroom/photogallery

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently indicated her willingness to include opening additional areas of the outer continental shelf (OCS) for exploration and production of oil and natural gas as part of a broader energy package. While she did not release any details of her plan, Pelosi said that democrats are working to bring an energy bill to

the U.S. House floor for a vote this year. Along with opening additional areas of the OCS, Speaker Pelosi said that the legislation would scale back subsidies for big oil companies and expanding renewable energy tax credits and programs. The package could also include releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, granting more power to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to police energy markets, and authorizing a national requirement for utilities to include renewable energy into their generation mix. APGA has been actively pushing Congress to increase supply as a fundamental component to longterm affordable natural gas. Pelosi’s decision to reconsider offshore drilling continued on p. 2

Congress Expected to Address Energy Legislation After Conventions

Congress will return from its August recess the week of September 8 after each party holds its conventions to nominate their respective candidates for president. Energy will be a major platform for both parties as more public pressure continues to build for Congress to address energy prices. Congress is expected to reconvene for a 4 to 5 week work period in

September before adjourning again for most of October to allow candidates to campaign before Election Day on November 4. During this time it is anticipated that Congress may debate and potentially vote on energy legislation that could include several priorities of the American Public Gas Association (APGA), including increased market transparency and access to additional domescontinued on p. 2


Page 2

APGA Public Gas News

Publisher: Bert Kalisch Editor: Kristin Gomez Writers: APGA Staff Layout: Marghet Hager

www.apga.org

Pelosi Warms to Offshore Drilling As Part of Broader Energy Legislation continued from p. 1 may have been swayed by the intense pressure from House members who have pushed for increased access to the OCS along with the support of a large numbers of outside interest groups and public opinion polls. Before the August break, House Democrats brought bills to the floor that would speed up the pace of lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and pressure oil companies to develop existing federal leases, release oil from the SPR and expand CFTC oversight. They fell short, despite garnering dozens of GOP votes, because the

bill was brought to the floor under expedited rules that required a twothirds vote and prevented GOP offshore drilling amendments. An aide to Pelosi indicated it is not yet clear whether a new energy bill that is being prepared would be brought up under the expedited rules or regular order. For nearly the entire August recess thus far, several House Republicans have taken to the House floor in a show of protest that lawmakers broke for recess without voting on energy legislation. If you have any questions on this article, please contact Nate Hill at 202464-2742 or nhill@apga.org.

Congress Expected to Address Energy Legislation After Conventions

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.

September 2, 2008

continued from p. 1 -tic supply. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi while being interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press this past Sunday once again indicated her willingness to include additional offshore drilling of oil and natural gas as one component of a comprehensive energy package. A comprehensive package would most likely also include other priorities

such as releasing some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, making additional investments in renewable forms of energy, conservation, repealing certain tax breaks for major integrated oil companies, expanded use of natural gas and other priorities. It is unclear at this time which components could be included in comprehensive energy legislation. At the end of July, bipartisan coalitions formed in both the House and Senate and introduced energy legislation that includes access to certain supplies of offshore oil and gas, along with increased investments in renewable energy, conservation, and funding for Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and other measures. If you have any questions about this article please feel free to contact Nate Hill at 202-464-2742 or nhill@ apga.org.


Page 3

www.apga.org

September 2, 2008

2008 APGA Award Winners APGA is pleased to announce the winners of the awards presented at the 2008 Annual Conference in Monterey, CA: 2008 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: This award is given to the individual that has demonstrated outstanding public service, devotion to duty, contribution to the natural gas industry and welfare of the community, and exemplifying the highest ideals and finest traditions in management of publicly owned natural gas systems. George Bronson - Gas System Director, Winfield, KS 2008 PUBLIC GAS SYSTEM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: This award recognizes the public gas system that has demonstrated substantial contributions to the local community, the natural gas industry, other utilities and APGA goals, while providing safe and reliable services to local owners and customers. Long Beach Gas & Oil Dept. - Long Beach, CA 2008 SAFETY MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD: This is award is given to the public gas system that has consistently operated at the highest levels, clearly establishing itself as an achiever of excellence in the field of Safety Management. Greenville Utilities Commission - Greenville, NC 2008 PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: This award is given to individuals who have made substantial contributions toward the attainment of the goals of APGA or who have made substantial contributions toward enhancing the prestige of APGA in the nation, generally with at least three years active participation in APGA affairs. Gerald Paulus - City of Mesa, AZ John Sharpe - Brownsville Utilities Dept., TN 2008 HARRY M. COOKE PERSONAL SERVICE AWARD: This award is given to the individual who has made a substantial contribution toward the goals of APGA and/or the natural gas industry, and is not employees of an APGA public gas system member. Bob Beauregard - APGA, Washington, DC 2008 Marketing & Sales Award - This award encourages APGA members to submit their marketing or sales program, project, or customer service they feel should be considered for recognition. Judging focuses on specific gas marketing or projects and programs with measurable results and ask the system to specify a key project individual(s). Chester County Natural Gas Authority, Chester, SC 2008 APGA RF Distinguished Service Award - This award is given to the individual that has demonstrated outstanding public service, devotion to duty, contribution to the natural gas industry and welfare of the community, and exemplifying the highest ideals and finest traditions in management of publicly owned natural gas systems, with specific emphasis on supporting and promoting critically needed research and development. Gerald Paulus, Mesa, AZ

Reminder: Natural Gas Price Communication Kit Materials Available on the APGA Website

As mentioned in an article in the recent APGA Public Gas News, APGA has mailed out communication kits to our public gas system members. The kits are intended to help APGA members communicate to their customers regarding the potentially high natural gas prices they may be faced with this winter’s heating season. The kit includes information on why natural gas prices have risen and what actions consumers

can take to lower their heating bills by conserving energy. The kit also encourages APGA members and their customers to contact their congressional representatives to push for the passage of measures, such as increasing domestic natural gas supply, that would help bring natural gas prices back to a long-term affordable level. A copy of the communication kit that was sent out is available on the

members only side of the website at http://www.apga.org/members/ postcards.asp. Once you log in, you can click on it from the members only homepage in the top downloads. If you have any questions on this article or the price communication kits, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff by email at dschryver@ apga.org or by phone at 202-4642742.


Page 4

www.apga.org

September 2, 2008

2008 Management Salary Survey Sent Out

On August 19, APGA sent out its 2008 Annual Management Salary Survey to its members. The APGA Management Salary Survey studies salaries and earnings for gas distribution, construction, engineering, and administrative/service oriented personnel that are at the management level. The survey provides public gas systems with an opportunity to as-

sess how their employee compensation plans compare to those of other public gas systems of similar size by presenting an unbiased comprehensive analysis of the salary rates for management personnel. It also provides valuable insights for many natural gas utility system managers and employees, particularly for an industry that is finding it increasingly difficult to retain qualified and experi-

enced personnel. The success of the survey is ultimately dependent on the number of responses we receive. We encourage all APGA members to take the time to complete the survey. If you have any questions regarding the APGA Management Salary Survey, please contact Todd Brady of APGA’s staff by email at tbrady@apga.org or by phone at 202-464-2742.

As federal lawmakers are working in their districts for the month of August, members of the American Public Gas Association (APGA) are reaching out asking them to support The National Conservation, Environment, and Energy Independence Act of 2008 (H.R. 6709). This piece of energy legislation was drafted by a bipartisan group of U.S. House members and introduced in late July by Representatives John Peterson from Pennsylvania and Neil Abercrombie from Hawaii. APGA has encouraged its members to reach out to their representatives by phone, email, or in person at events hosted by the congressman or congresswoman, such as a town hall meeting. Energy is the number one issue currently facing lawmakers and many are reaching out to their constituents seeking input on how to vote

on energy legislation in September. APGA supports H.R. 6707 because it is a balanced plan with bipartisan support that would significantly increase the domestic supply of natural gas. This legislation includes opening additional areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for oil and natural gas exploration and production. The bill would repeal the moratoria in the OCS that blocks the federal government from offering drilling leases within 125 miles from shore. Instead, the bill allows the federal government to offer leases outside of 50 miles from shore. Additionally, coastal states have the option to offer drilling leases between 25-50 miles from shore. A moratorium would remain in place for drilling with 25 miles of shore. Tax revenues from the additional leases sales and production would be shared between the federal govern-

ment and those coastal states that opt to allow drilling off their shores. Much of the anticipated federal revenue from the additional production would be used to fund several environmental and conservation programs, along with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The bill currently has over 120 cosponsors. Now is an opportune time to contact your federal representative to make them aware that there is support in their district for increasing the domestic supply of natural gas and urge them to support the Abercrombie-Peterson bipartisan Conservation, Environment, and Energy Independence Act of 2008. If you have any further questions you can contact Nate Hill at 202-2242742 or nhill@apga.org.

This month, APGA members will receive their dues invoices for 2008 membership. These invoices reflect an increase in dues as voted upon at the Annual Meeting in Monterey, CA. Similar to 2008, this year’s dues invoices are being sent out in September to allow APGA time to finalize and send out its 2009 directory earlier than in previous years. The directory identifies APGA members and sending invoices out in September will allow APGA to finalize the directory

and distribute it to member systems early in 2009. As members receive their invoices, please review them and if the information on the invoice is incorrect due to changes that have taken place in your system, please contact APGA so that the information may be corrected in our member database. Recently, APGA members received a letter from the Chairman of the APGA Board of Directors, George BronsonDirector of the Winfield, KS Gas Util-

ity that identified and discussed many of APGA’s accomplishments over the past year. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the continued commitment that APGA members have made to their association. If you have any questions regarding APGA dues, please contact Dave Schryver at APGA by email at dschryver@apga.org or by phone at 202-464-2742.

APGA Members Push Federal Lawmakers to Support Bipartisan Plan to Increase Domestic Supplies

APGA Membership Invoices to Be Mailed Out In September


Page 5

www.apga.org

September 2, 2008

The Pipeline a section devoted to operations-specific content PHMSA Extends Cooperative Agreement with APGA Security and Integrity Foundation

On August 21, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) notified the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) that PHMSA will extend its cooperative agreement with the SIF through fiscal year 2009. The extension includes funding from PHMSA to continue providing operator qualification training and evaluations for small utilities, master meter systems and propane piping system operators. The SIF currently offers qualification

on 49 OQ covered tasks at locations convenient to small systems. Under the extension these programs will continue. The extension also provides funding to conduct workshops to assist utilities to better understand recordkeeping and procedural requirements in order to satisfy regulatory audit and inspection procedures. Lastly, the extension allows the SIF to develop written procedures for the remaining distribution-related covered tasks. Currently the SIF has devel-

oped written procedures for the 49 covered tasks in which it offers operator qualification evaluations. These can be downloaded for free at www. apgasif.org. By year operators will be able to download for free procedures for every covered task performed on a distribution system. For more information contact John Erickson, Vice President, Operations at 202-464-0834 or jerickson@apga. org.

PHMSA to Extend DIMP Comment Period APGA has learned that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will extend the comment period on its proposed Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP) rule an additional 30 days to October 23. APGA supports this extension as it will allow APGA, AGA and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) to coordinate comments and develop consensus positions where agreement can be reached. APGA’s Bert Kalisch and John Erickson will be attending the NAPSR Annual meeting on September 17 and 18 during which time has been set aside for the 3 associations to discuss their positions on the rule

and explore areas of mutual agreement. The extension also offers more time for individual APGA members to file written comments directly with PHMSA. APGA encourages members to file comments supporting our position. A model written comment will be sent to members after the meeting with NAPSR. One area where individual comments could be particularly helpful is to support keeping plastic pipe failure reporting voluntary. On its website PHMSA’s Frequently Asked Questions about the DIMP rule suggest that making data submission mandatory and making the raw data publicly available is for the benefit of small utilities that would like to do

their own statistical analysis of plastic pipe failure causes. APGA believes that most small utilities don’t want the raw data, but rather only need to know if the analysis by the industry/ government team finds any types of plastic pipe or fittings that are failing prematurely. Small operators also don’t want to be forced to file more paperwork with PHMSA whenever they repair a plastic pipe or fitting. Hearing from as many utilities as possible on these points may be critical to influencing PHMSA’s final rule. For further information contact John Erickson, APGA vice president, operations 202-464-0834 or jerickson@apga.org.

APGA Security and Integrity Foundation Board of Directors Meet in Monterey

The APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) Board of Directors met in Monterey, California for the third annual meeting in conjunction with the APGA Annual Conference. The SIF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing cost effective resources that improve safety for gas distribu-

tion and utilization systems. During the conference, state regulators and distribution operators on the board offered input on projects the SIF is currently working on such as operator qualification, operating and maintenance procedures and Distribution Integrity Management. Future projects

and ideas were also discussed. The next meeting for the SIF will be held in mid-November via conference call.


Page 6

www.apga.org

September 2, 2008

The Gas Industry Enthusiastically Embraces the CRE

As of August 28, 2008, the following 101 gas utilities and equipment distributor have joined the Council for Responsible Energy (CRE) in the few short weeks since the APGA Annual Meeting and the official launch of the CRE on August 14. This outpouring of support demonstrates the need for the CRE and the common multi-media advertising to promote the many attributes of natural gas. APGA urges all of it members to join the CRE. The cost is minimal ($0.15/residential meter). Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of TV, radio, billboard and bill stuffer advertising that you will

receive. Your area public television and radio stations will allow advertisement placement at little or no cost. Join the CRE by completing and returning the below form or by visiting www.cremembers.org At this site you will be able to join the CRE electronically. And, if you did not participate in the August 14 webinar, you can do so by simple click on the site. You owe it to yourself to devote the time to hear why the CRE is critical to the continued health of the natural gas industry. For more information on the CRE, please contact Bob Beauregard at 202.264.0831 or bbeauregard@apga. org.

On August 26-27, John Erickson, APGA vice president, operations, updated attendees at the Western Regional Gas Conference in Tempe, AZ on current and future actions regarding operator qualification and Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP). After Lane Miller of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provided an overview of the DIMP proposed rule, John focused on the provisions in the proposal that would be the focus of APGA’s written comments to PHMSA. Among the main concerns is the proposal to mandate that every utility submit detailed data to PHMSA on every repair on plastic pipe or components. While APGA encouragers members to voluntarily submit data to the Plastic Pipe Database project, this can be burdensome for small systems, therefore APGA will urge PHMSA to keep data submission voluntary. Another provision would require operators to include a special section in their written integrity management plans related to preventing errors by personnel. APGA believes putting so much emphasis on what has been shown to be a rela-

tively minor contributor to accidents sends the wrong signal to utilities where to focus integrity management efforts. Operator qualification (OQ) is not currently an issue at the federal level, but OQ enforcement at the state level has raised some issues in certain areas, John told the audience. He described the ongoing activities in Georgia where operators have been cited for non-compliance because OQ evaluations and operations and maintenance procedures were not in agreement how certain covered tasks should be performed. The APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF), the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia and Austell (GA) Gas System have developed written procedures for the 49 covered tasks in which the SIF currently offers qualification and are working on procedures the remaining distribution covered tasks. These procedures are available free to anyone at www.apgasif.org. For further information contact John Erickson, APGA vice president, operations 202-464-0834 or jerickson@apga.org.

APGA Speaks on OQ/DIMP at the Western Regional Gas Conference

Current CRE members: Public Gas Systems (93)

City of Adairsville, GA Adel Natural Gas System, GA City of Americus Natural Gas Dept, GA City of Ashburn, GA City of Bainbridge, GA Bay City Gas Company, TX City of Blakely, GA City of Bowman, GA City of Buford, GA Butler Utility Board, AL Byron Natural Gas Dept, GA City of Cairo, GA City of Camilla, GA Borough of Chambersburg, PA Chester County Natural Gas Authority, SC Claxton Natural Gas System, GA Cochran Natural gas System, GA City of Commerce, GA Covington Natural Gas System, GA CPS Energy, TX City of Dawson Gas Dept, GA City of Doerun, GA Donalsonville Municipal Natural Gas Dept, GA Douglas Natural Gas, GA East Central Alabama Gas District, AL City of Eatonton, GA Edison Municipal Natural Gas Dept, GA Elberton Utilities Natural Gas Division, GA Fitzgerald Water, Light and Bond Commission, GA Fort Valley Utility Commission, GA City of Grantville, GA Greater Dickson Gas Authority, TN Greensboro Municipal Natural Gas System, GA City of Hamilton, OH City of Hartwell, GA Town of Havana Natural Gas System, FL Hogansville Municipal Natural Gas, GA Town of Ignacio Municipal Gas, CO Jasper Municipal Utilities, FL Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District, TN City of LaFayette, GA Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority, TN City of Lanett, AL Lawrenceburg Utility Systems, TN City of Lawrenceville, GA City of Lebanon, TN City of Louisville, GA City of Lumpkin, GA City of Madison, GA Manchester Natural gas Dept, GA Maplesville Utilities Board, AL Marshall County Gas District, AL City of Millen, GA Monroe Water, Light & Gas Commission, GA City of Monticello, GA City of Moultrie, GA Nashville Gas Dept, GA Okaloosa Gas District, FL City of Pelham, GA Perry Natural Gas System, GA Powell-Clinch Utility District, TN City of Quincy, FL City of Quitman, GA Riviera Utilities, AL City of Roanoke Utility Board, AL Rockford Gas Board, AL Royston Gas Dept, GA Sevier County Utility District, TN Smyrna Natural Gas System, TN Social Circle Municipal Gas Dept, GA South Alabama Gas District, AL Sparta Natural Gas System, GA Statesboro Gas Dept, GA City of Sugar Hill, GA City of Sunrise, FL Summerville Gas System, GA Sylvania Municipal Natural Gas Dept, GA City of Sylvester, GA City of Thomasville Utilities, GA Thomson Gas System, GA Tifton Natural gas System, GA City of Toccoa, GA Trion Gas System, GA Union Point Natural Gas System, GA Vienna Natural Gas System, GA Town of Wadley, AL City of Warner Robins, GA City of Waynesboro, GA Town of Wedowee Water, Sewer & Gas Board, AL City of West Point, GA Winder Natural Gas Dept, GA Wrens Gas System, GA York County Natural Gas Authority, SC

Investor-Owned Utilities

Alagasco, AL AGL Resources, AL Mobile Gas Service Corp, AL Piedmont Natural Gas, NC South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), SC TECO-Peoples Gas, FL Texas Gas Service Company, TX

Natural Gas Equipment Distributor Equipment Controls Company, GA


cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax ------cut and fax -----------cut

Page 7 www.apga.org September 2, 2008


Page 8

www.apga.org

John Riordan Tribute

John Riordan

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Riordan. Riordan had more than 40 years of experience in the natural gas and chemicals industries. Riordan was President of Oxy NGL, Inc., from 1986 to 1988. This followed a 12-year career with OxyChem as Director of New Business Development; Vice President and General Manager of the International Division; Vice President and General Manager of the Electrochemical Division; and (1981-1986) President of the Industrial Chemicals Group. He also held several senior positions from 1988 to 1998 with

MidCon Corp., serving as President and CEO of MidCon; as Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America; and as a member of the board of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. In 1998, he directed Occidental’s divestiture and sale of MidCon to K N Energy. He was also a member of the board of directors of National Fuel GasCompany and Nicor. A fellow colleague and friend of John’s, Wade Stinson, P.E., associate general manager or operations for the City Utilities of Springfield, MO said PRESORTED “The gas industry is much better today STANDARD U.S.because POSTAGEof John’s steadfast support of PAIDand his leadership of GTI during R&D FAIRFAX, VA those times. He will be greatly Permit No. turbulent 6241 missed by the industry and all who knew him.” One of John’s most important career accomplishments was his service beginning in 2000 to the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) as President and CEO. For over five years John

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

September 2, 2008

directed programs for developing and commercializing natural gasrelated technologies, products and services, creating significant value in the marketplace. According to Wade Stinson, “John was instrumental in leading GTI through the transition to the successful voluntary-funded R&D organization that it is today.” Under his leadership, GTI added new facilities, enhanced research capabilities, expanded the customer base, improved customer satisfaction levels, and helped the natural gas industry develop new collaborative mechanisms for funding needed research. “He was a strong leader, dedicated to his business as well as his family and friends. While John will be missed, the legacy of his leadership tenure at GTI will live on for years to come” said David C. Carroll, GTI’s President and CEO. APGA is grateful for John’s contributions to our organization and the entire natural gas industry.

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


Public Gas News September 2, 2008