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AGA

 1/27/2010 

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

 AGA to Wall Street: Natural Gas Utilities Provide Favorable Investment Opportunity in New Energy Economy   

 
   

Make no mistake, natural gas is not a ‘bridge fuel.’ It is a ‘super highway’ to an energy efficient future, and both our fuel and our companies will be serving customers for a long, long time to come.

New York, NY- The abundance of clean natural gas in the United States makes the natural gas industry an optimal investment opportunity, the American Gas Association (AGA) today told a group of financial analysts at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA).  AGA Chairman and NiSource, Inc. President and CEO Robert Skaggs highlighted technological advances in energy exploration- such as advanced horizontal drilling- that are providing access to massive new natural gas sources and infinitely boosting the supply picture in the United States.
 
“This shift is absolutely real from a near-term standpoint,” said Skaggs.  “The supply side of our business is becoming more home-grown, as domestic production, led by shale gas, has increased about six percent over the last two years.”
 
According to the Potential Gas Committee, an independent group of scientists and volunteers affiliated with the Colorado School of Mines, the total U.S. resource base can now supply the country with enough natural gas to last more than a century.
 
The cleanest fuel available on the market today, natural gas is far more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly than electricity when used directly in the home for heating and cooking.  The direct use of natural gas can help the United States reach its carbon reduction goals, Skaggs said.
 
As testament to the financial health of the industry as a whole, the FBR Gas Utility Index Fund (GASFX), comprised solely of AGA member utility companies, provided an average annual total shareholder return of nearly 8 percent over the past 10 years, surpassing the average returns for both the Dow Jones Utility Index and the Standard & Poor 500 Index.
 
“We’ve proven that we can be the clean, abundant, efficient, common-sense solution, both near-term and long-term, to our country’s environmental and energy security challenges,” said Skaggs.  “Make no mistake, natural gas is not a ‘bridge fuel.’  It is a ‘super highway’ to an energy efficient future, and both our fuel and our companies will be serving customers for a long, long time to come."
 
Skaggs’ 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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