Advocacy

AGA and its member companies advocate on a number of policy issues through outreach to relevant local, state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies.

Review Our Current Advocacy Priorities

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Objective: To successfully advocate policies at FERC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other federal agencies, as applicable, that will maintain high quality interstate pipeline transportation service to local distribution companies (LDCs), that will protect and enhance the value of transportation capacity held by LDCs, that promote the development of infrastructure, particularly as needed for delivering new natural gas supplies to market, and that increase understanding by FERC, CFTC and other agency Commissioners and staff of the commercial and operational context for LDCs.

Who Should Participate: All Full members of AGA are encouraged to participate on AGA's FERC Regulatory Committee (FRC). The FRC is comprised of general counsels and assistant general counsels, vice-presidents, directors and managers of gas supply and planning and federal regulatory affairs personnel of AGA member companies.

What Participants Can Expect: The FRC meets in person approximately four times during the year to provide policy and technical guidance for developing AGA's positions primarily in FERC and CFTC proceedings, technical conferences, workshops and appellate review of FERC and CFTC matters. The FRC also conducts business by email and conference calls to review draft pleadings, presentations and other advocacy documents. FRC members receive timely summaries of significant FERC and CFTC developments, actions taken and filings made in FERC and CFTC proceedings. The FRC presents workshops and conferences and engages in other direct advocacy efforts with FERC Commissioners and their staff.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Susan Bergles, 202-824-7090, sbergles@aga.org, or Michaela Burroughs, 202-824-7311, mburroughs@aga.org

Additional Resources: View the latest FERC filings, developments, and presentations.

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National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)

Objective: To promote a favorable regulatory climate for gas utilities by soliciting NARUC support for policies that will enhance members ability to deliver safe, secure, reliable energy services in a cost-effective and profitable manner, sharing information on generic state regulatory issues and developing advocacy tools for use by member companies.

Who Should Participate: All members are encouraged to participate, especially those with state commissioners that are active in NARUC. Members of the State Affairs Committee are typically vice presidents, directors, and managers of rates, regulatory affairs and government relations, counsels and assistant general counsels.

What Participants Can Expect: The State Affairs Committee develops policies and advocacy strategies for the NARUC Summer, Winter and Annual meetings. The members also convene by conference call to review NARUC and state policy issues and to prepare for meetings with individual commissioners on designated issues.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Kyle Rogers at krogers@aga.org or Ashley Duckman at aduckman@aga.org.

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NARUC/Financial Outreach

Public utility commissioners are provided the opportunity to meet with more than 40 members of the financial community during each visit.

Objective: Educating state regulatory commissioners on how their decisions impact the views of the financial community, and how this affects investment decisions by individual and institutional investors.

Who Should Participate: State public utility commissioners are welcome to participate.

What Participants Can Expect: Commissioners are taken to New York for one and one-half days of meetings with various representatives of the financial community, including security analysts, portfolio managers, rating agency executives and investment/commercial bankers. Visits are generally conducted quarterly.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Gary Gardner at ggardner@aga.org or Liliana Fonnoll at lfonnoll@aga.org.

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Financial Outreach

Objective: Works with all segments of the financial community to keep its members current on emerging trends in the natural gas industry, and the value offered through investments in investor owned natural gas utility companies.

Who Should Participate: Chief financial officers, treasurers, risk managers, and investor relations executives.

What Participants Can Expect: Multiple opportunities to interact with security analysts, portfolio managers, commercial and investment bankers. AGA s financial outreach includes an annual four-day financial conference, regional financial luncheon meetings, and a series of meetings with key members of the New York financial community.

In addition, AGA is the administrator of the AGA Stock Index, which is used exclusively by the Hennessy Gas Utility Fund (ticker symbol: GASFX)* as an investment strategy.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Gary Gardner at ggardner@aga.org.

*The Hennessy Gas Utility Fund, developed in 1989, is a mutual fund investing exclusively in the natural gas distribution industry. The Fund invests solely in companies included in the AGA Stock Index, which is a market-capitalization weighted index consisting of all publicly traded member companies of the AGA. The AGA is the administrator of the AGA Stock Index.

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Accounting Advocacy

Objective: AGA's accounting committees (Accounting Advisory, Accounting Principles, and Accounting Services) work with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) to ensure that new accounting standards or information requests are sound and not overly burdensome.

Who Should Participate: Chief accounting officers and senior accounting executives.

What Participants Can Expect: Opportunities to interact with key members of accounting rule-setting bodies, as well as the opportunity to develop utility industry positions to present before these groups.

The FASB Liaison meeting is one of only 30 industry liaison meetings the FASB holds each year.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Joe Martin at jmartin@aga.org.

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Building Energy Codes/Standards

Objective: AGA identifies and assesses how current and proposed building and appliance codes and standards affect or may affect the ability of AGA members to market natural gas. AGA s Building Energy Codes and Standards Committee advocates positions on behalf of AGA members to ensure that codes affecting gas appliances and accessories promote the use of natural gas and are safe, reasonable and cost-effective for both members and consumers. AGA represents its members before the National Fire Protection Association, International Code Council, American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Department of Energy and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Who Should Participate: Directors and managers of AGA member companies responsible for local code development and compliance. Directors of marketing who have concerns about the impact of codes and standards on gas sales.

What Participants Can Expect: This program provides coordinated, consistent industry representation for safe, reasonable and cost-effective codes and standards. This coordinated effort allows the industry to speak with a strong unified voice.

Building Codes & Standards Priority Lists

  • Model Codes - Advocate AGA's position on model building codes to help ensure technically sound and up-to-date coverage for gas applications.
  • Energy Conservation Actively participate in federal efficiency appliance and building rulemakings to maintain fair and equitable treatment for natural gas.
  • Health & Safety Monitor and interact with various voluntary and governmental codes and standards making organizations to help ensure adequate coverage without unjustified overly prohibited provisions.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Jim Ranfone at jranfone@aga.org.

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Environmental

Objective: Work with EPA and other federal agencies to develop effective environmental policies and regulations that protect the environment while factoring in the special challenges faced by natural gas utilities in the delivery of service to their customers. Take part in coalitions and other advocacy groups to assist in the development of sound natural gas policies and rulemaking. Educate member company employees about new environmental rules and laws, and assist them in developing their environmental compliance programs.

Who Should Participate: Member company vice presidents or senior environmental engineers or lawyers participate on the Environmental Regulatory Action Committee (ERAC).

What Participants Can Expect: Environmental Regulatory Action Committee (ERAC) conducts business by e-mail and conference calls, and it meets in-person twice per year. The committee provides both policy and technical guidance to develop AGA s positions on EPA policies and regulations. The committee advises the Legal Committee, as needed, regarding court challenges to unreasonable rules. The committee works with AGA lobbyists and the Legislative Committee on environmental legislation. Members sometimes accompany lobbyists at EPA and Congressional visits.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Pam Lacey at placey@aga.org.

Additional Resources: Additional information about environmental filings can be found here.

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The American Gas Association Political Action Committee (GASPAC)

GASPAC is dedicated to ensuring the voice of the natural gas utility industry is heard on Capitol Hill.

Learn More About GASPAC

Objective: To support candidates for federal office who take responsible positions on issues involving the natural gas industry, the customers it serves and the nation as a whole.

Who Should Participate: Full member delegates are asked to grant permission to AGA to solicit donations to GASPAC from company executive and administrative personnel.

What Participants Can Expect: Delivery of the natural gas utility industry's advocacy message directly to key members of Congress and their staff.

How to Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact George Lowe at glowe@aga.org.

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Gas Operations Public & Employee Safety

Objectives: Working with Congress and the the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to assist in the development of pipeline safety policies and regulations that improve public safety that can be cost effectively implemented by natural gas utility operators. Assist in ensuring EPA or OSHA issue rules consistent with the DOT s jurisdiction of pipeline safety. Educate member company employees regarding new rules and laws, and assist them in developing their compliance programs.

Who Should Participate: Senior gas operations managers, engineers, and vice presidents traditionally serve on the Operations Safety Regulatory Action Committee (OSRAC).

What Participants Can Expect: The OSRAC works with operating section technical committees and various task groups to develop industry positions. The committee is chaired by a member of the Operating Section Managing Committee. The OSRAC has been given AGA Board authority to develop industry positions in response to proposed regulations or initiatives. It conducts business by e-mail and conference calls, and it meets in person about two times per year. The committee advises the Legal Committee, as needed, regarding court challenges to unreasonable rules. The committee also works with AGA lobbyists and the Legislative Committee on pipeline safety legislation.

How To Participate or Obtain More Information: Contact Andrew Lue at alu@aga.org.

Additional Resources: More information about safety and operations.

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Download the prospectus for the Hennessy Gas Utility Fund.

Mutual fund investing involves risk. Loss of principal is possible. A non-diversified fund, one that may concentrate its assets in fewer holdings than a diversified fund, is more exposed to individual stock volatility than a diversified fund. Investments are focused in the natural gas distribution and transmission industry, which may be adversely affected by rising interest rates, weather, and the wholesale pricing of alternative fuels. Investments in foreign securities may involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risk and differences in accounting methods.

The Hennessy Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC.

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