American Gas - May 2010 - (Page 2)

President’s Message Playing it safe at events like the aGa Operations Conference, industry experts from myriad organizations gather to work toward building an ever safer system. It may be a cliché to say that safety and DaviD N. Parker President and CeO reliability are the foundations on which our industry is built, but clichés become clichés because they are both true and worth repeating. Without our industry’s reputation for the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to our more than 70 million customers, we would not be in business. This is why we pay so much attention to operational safety issues, including holding our annual AGA Operations conference—this year may 11–14 in new Orleans—the oldest, best attended and most important conference AGA hosts. At this conference the key operations and engineering personnel at AGA and at our member companies meet with members of the regulatory agencies, both state and federal, who oversee our industry. Working together through the conference’s workshops, presentations, meetings and informal gatherings, our regulators and industry personnel work to achieve consensus on the many critical issues that affect safety and reliability. chief among those regulatory agencies is the U.s. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous materials safety Administration (DOT/PHmsA), so we are honored that PHmsA Administrator cynthia Quarterman agreed to grace the cover of this issue of American Gas, as well as consent to an interview, which you will find starting on p. 30. in that interview Administrator Quarterman points out the tremendous progress that we have made on industry safety—progress, for example, that has resulted in a flexible, cost-effective and effective distribution integrity management program (DimP) rule, as well as a much more collaborative approach to one of our industry’s highest priorities, excavation damage. As she says, the key to that progress has been the many partnerships that have been formed at both the state and local levels, whether it’s partnering with the common Ground Alliance on excavation damage, partnering with the national Association of Pipeline safety representatives (nAPsr) on state safety programs or partnering with the national Association of regulatory Utility commissioners (nArUc) to regulate areas that affect, and are affected by, safety issues. The goal, she explains, is “to develop a nationally consistent set of regulatory expectations and oversight practices” that all stakeholders can agree to. it is a goal AGA has worked very hard to achieve. in fact, because AGA has such a long-standing relationship with both nArUc and nAPsr, we have been instrumental in enhancing cooperation between them, allowing nAPsr to better educate nArUc on the importance of pipeline safety while allowing nArUc to better educate nAPsr on the regulatory challenges state public utility commissions face with respect to pipeline safety expense recovery. it is those kinds of cooperative ventures that Administrator Quarterman has challenged our industry and AGA to “step up” and work even harder to facilitate in 2010, especially given the challenges we face. But as she points out, whether it is implementing DimP, working on reauthorization of pipeline safety legislation or encouraging the states to enact stronger excavation damage prevention programs, AGA and PHmsA “have a long history of working together.” she believes—as do we—that this working relationship will grow even stronger in the days, months and years ahead. 2 may 2010 AmericAn GAs

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - May 2010

American Gas - May 2010
President’s Message
In the Know
Industry News
To Be the Best
Tech Talk
Priority No. 1: Safety
A Return to Firm Financial Footing
Places to Be
Advertisers’ Index
Facts on Gas

American Gas - May 2010