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 Natural Gas: Solutions for Our Economy and Our Environment   

Incoming AGA Chairman Details How U.S. Natural Gas Utilities Can Unite Diverse Goals

Washington, D.C. – Natural gas provides solutions to America’s economic and environmental challenges, says Gregg Kantor, President and CEO of NW Natural in Portland, Ore. Kantor will be Chairman of the American Gas Association (AGA) in 2014. At an event at AGA headquarters in Washington, D.C. this morning, Kantor outlined how America’s natural gas utilities can bridge the divide between an either/or approach to fostering economic growth and protecting the environment.

“Natural gas allows us to affordably and reliably deliver essential energy to more than 177 million Americans while protecting the planet,” said Kantor. “My top priority as AGA Chairman is to continue to deliver natural gas in a safe, clean and responsible manner.” 

Kantor discussed several priorities for making his vision a reality including enhancing the industry’s excellent safety record, upgrading and modernizing our nation’s natural gas infrastructure to improve safety while reducing emissions, expanding the use of natural gas in transportation and investing in efficient technologies that utilize our nation’s abundance of natural gas effectively.

“Natural gas can be a partner with other clean energy sources, including renewables,” said Kantor. “We need to get away from the notion that they are somehow at odds. That narrative is over, as far as I’m concerned. Natural gas will work alongside renewable energy sources in 2014 and beyond.”

Kantor noted that the natural industry boosts our economy by employing people in all 50 states and providing savings for consumers and businesses on their monthly bills. He cited data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency showing that customers who heated their homes during the 2011-2012 winter heating season saw average savings of 70 percent compared to those using electricity.

Gregg Kantor joined NW Natural in 1996, where he served as Vice President for Public and Regulatory Affairs before becoming Chief Operating Officer and eventually president and CEO in 2007. Kantor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Oregon.

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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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