THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 22

legislative outlook

F

ollowing a hectic end to the year,
the second session of the 115th
Congress will likely be much less
active than 2017. Midterm elections will
be held in November, leaving little time
for legislating as all 435 representatives
and roughly a third of the senators
focus most of their efforts on reelection
campaigns. That said, there are several
legislative items Congress may address,
which have the potential to impact
gas utilities.
To recap, year-end 2017 saw the
passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act, the Republican's long-awaited
tax reform bill. Most notably, the bill
reduced corporate tax rates from
35 percent to 21 percent. While this
provided tax relief for most companies,
it had an interesting effect on the
energy sector - specifically regarding
pipelines. Gas pipeline operators
calculate their rates using complex
formulas, a component of which is the
corporate tax rate. Even though the
corporate tax rate has been reduced,
pipelines have not changed their rate
structures to reflect this. APGA has
thus argued that the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) should
step in to review these rate structures.
APGA also advocated for
reinstatement of several tax credit
programs to help natural gas compete
on a level playing field: the Section 48
investment tax credit (ITC) for combined
heat and power (CHP), the Section 6426
alternative fuel excise tax credit, and
the Section 30(C) ITC for alternative fuel
refueling properties. All three credits

received an extension: the
Section 48 for five years, and the
Section 6426 and 30(C) retroactive
for 2017. APGA continues to advocate
for longer extensions for the Section 6426
and 30(C) credits.
This year, the Administration and
Congress are primed to focus on two
major legislative items: an infrastructure
revitalization package and the Farm
Bill. The infrastructure bill follows on a
campaign platform of President Donald
Trump and several Republicans. On the
other hand, the Farm Bill is set to expire
this summer and contains many programs
that will need to be reauthorized.
In February, the White House released
a framework for its principles on what
an infrastructure package should
contain. As expected, it contained
mostly new grant programs to spur
investments in all types of infrastructure,
from roads and highways to ports and
water infrastructure projects. While the
document had a number of proposals,
very few of the proposals themselves
contained much detail in the sense of
exactly what types of projects would be
eligible. This is notable because energy,
including natural gas infrastructure
and pipelines, was unfortunately only
sparingly mentioned. APGA sees this as
an opportunity to educate and promote
the benefits of improved pipelines and
transmission systems and an expanded
gas infrastructure, particularly to rural
communities.
As noted, the Farm Bill is one of the
only "must pass" legislative items this
year. Like the infrastructure package,

22 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS

the Farm Bill is not explicitly an energy
or natural gas piece of legislation.
However, it does contain sections that
allow APGA to advocate for expanding
gas to agricultural operations, such
as poultry farms and other energyintensive agribusinesses. Further, the
large rural title of the bill gives APGA
the opportunity to further push for
expansion of rural energy infrastructure,
including last-mile programs and
increased pipeline access.
APGA also plans to engage on
several other legislative fronts.
These include: Congress' attempt to
reauthorize the Energy Department;
reforms to the Energy Policy and
Conservation Act (EPCA); budget and
appropriations; federal building energy
standards; regulations on appliances;
reforms to the Natural Gas Act
including FERC refund authority; and
increasing opportunities for natural gas
vehicles (NGV).
While midterm election years
always prove difficult for advancing
legislative agendas, APGA believes that
our initiatives have gained significant
attention over the last several years.
We anticipate a busy 2018 and look
forward to advocating for pro-natural
gas policies that benefit the over
730 municipal gas systems that we
represent.

BERAD/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Midterm Elections May
Affect How Much
Progress is Made
During Upcoming
Congressional Session



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2018

APGA Events
First Person
2018 Starts off with Gas Records
Energy Regulatory Update
The Result of Not Addressing Increasing Cybersecurity Risk
Conversation with an APGA Member
APGA Leads Charge to Lower Pipeline Rates to Match Lower Tax Rates
Legislative Outlook
Enhancing Resilience of Critical Infrastructure with Combined Heat and Power
The Pipeline
The Importance of Getting Involved with State and Local Building Code Developments
At Last
Advertisers’ Index/Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Intro
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 3
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 4
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 5
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 6
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 9
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 2018 Starts off with Gas Records
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 11
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Energy Regulatory Update
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 13
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Result of Not Addressing Increasing Cybersecurity Risk
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 15
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 16
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 17
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Conversation with an APGA Member
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 19
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - APGA Leads Charge to Lower Pipeline Rates to Match Lower Tax Rates
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 21
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Enhancing Resilience of Critical Infrastructure with Combined Heat and Power
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 24
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 25
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Importance of Getting Involved with State and Local Building Code Developments
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 28
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Advertisers’ Index/Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - divider1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - divider2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 35
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 36
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 40
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 41
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 42
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