American Gas - February 2012 - (Page 17)

y o u r d u e s d o l l a r s at w o r k return on investment Banking on AGA AGA members earned big returns on their dues investment in 2011. uring a year when our nation’s leaders were enmeshed in partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill, and businesses across the country faced economic uncertainty as a result, it was critical for companies to have a voice in Washington advocating on their behalf. Each year AGA members earn a substantial return on their dues investment, and 2011 was no exception. The association returned several times over the $20 million members invested in dues. AGA is proud to be a reliable and valuable asset for its members in this turbulent economic climate. Following are notable ROI achievements from 2011. D success Achieved PiPeline SaFety reauthorization. AGA’s natural gas utility members are committed to operating their systems with the utmost safety, reliability and security. Operational excellence is our industry’s highest priority, and we take seriously our responsibility to meet the need of our more than 65 million customers nationwide. In great part due to AGA’s engagement, December 2011 marked an important victory when both chambers of Congress passed unanimously the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011. The passage of this bill is a high achievement for AGA and is a testament to AGA’s ability to work with legislators regarding reasonable approaches to the natural gas issues critical to our members’ success. While the bill will result in increased resource investments, AGA sought to help ensure dollars spent would benefit safety. The president signed the bill into law on Jan. 3. low income home energy aSSiStance Program (liheaP). Due to AGA’s ongoing efforts on Capitol Hill, in the very last days of December, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law $3.5 billion in funding for LIHEAP for fiscal year (FY) 2012. While this funding amount is lower than the FY2011 appropriation of $4.7 billion, it is still far better than the $2.57 billion funding level recommended by the administration. Pcb uSe. In response to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to ban all detectible trace of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from all natural gas systems, AGA filed extensive comments demonstrating there is no need to change current practices, which work well to protect people and the environment. As a result of AGA’s advocacy leadership on the environmental front, EPA announced that it will not pursue its proposed ban on all traces of PCBs in pipes by 2020. The proposed ban would have caused severe disruptions in natural gas service to homes, businesses, hospitals, schools, industry and the government, and increased risks to public health, safety and the environment. Depending on whether AGA members have residual PCBs in their systems, EPA’s decision would collectively save AGA’s members billions of dollars. greenhouSe gaS rePorting rule. AGA filed a petition for judicial review in January and reconsideration in February, followed by successful negotiations with EPA, which resulted in the December 2011 final rule. In this final rule EPA cleared up provisions AGA found confusing, provided additional flexibility and allowed natural gas utilities to spread the required leak surveys over a five-year rolling period, which effectively allows an 80 percent reduction in the number of stations to be leak-surveyed each year and reduces annual leak survey costs by 80 percent compared with EPA’s proposed rule. AGA’s advocacy efforts on this issue should save AGA members collectively approximately $10 million. over-the-counter (otc) DerivativeS. The Dodd-Frank and Consumer Protection Act was lydIa MeIGs is aGa communications specialist. February 2012 AmericAn GAs 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - February 2012

American Gas - February 2012
President’s Message
In the News
Go, Team!
Going for the Gold
Places to Be
Advertisers' Index
Facts on Gas

American Gas - February 2012