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AGA

 1/28/2009 

AGA Contacts:
Jennifer O’Shea, 202-824-7023
Jake Rubin, 202-824-7027

 Natural Gas Utilities Provide Solid Investment Opportunity, AGA Tells Wall Street   

 
   

New York, NY – In the current financial and economic crisis, natural gas can help revitalize the economy, fight global climate change and enhance America’s energy security, the American Gas Association (AGA) today told Wall Street analysts. 

Thomas E. Skains, chairman and president of Piedmont Natural Gas and chairman of the AGA Board of Directors, told the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) that natural gas distribution companies are a sound choice for anyone looking to invest in America’s clean energy future and get a return on their money. 

“Energy utilities delivering natural gas have transparent business models – 2 million miles of natural gas pipe in the ground delivering natural gas from a North American resource base of 1,500 trillion cubic feet. They are asset-based and we have attractive customer growth opportunities,” he said.

Skains told NYSSA members that increased use of new rate design strategies allows natural gas utilities to be more competitive in today’s environment.

He also stressed that the natural gas industry is a dividend paying industry, noting that the current average dividend yield is 4.33 percent.  “With today’s focus on defensive investments, these yields are extremely attractive,” he said.

Skains added that as the cleanest burning fossil fuel on the market, natural gas will be a significant part of the solution to climate change.  Emitting about 45 percent less CO2 than coal and about 30 percent less than oil, natural gas provides a low carbon energy choice for American consumers.

“So, our message to the investment community should be clear and strong. In these uncertain times, if you want a reasonable expectation of a solid, safe, sound return on your investment, our industry is the responsible investment choice, just as our fuel is the responsible energy choice.”

Skains’ speech and accompanying slides can be accessed on AGA’s web site at www.aga.org.

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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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