Incoming AGA Chair Says 2021 Will Be A Pivotal Year for the Gas System

News Release December 17, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.– David Anderson, Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Gas Association (AGA) for 2021, is taking on the role at a time when the industry continues to innovate and advance a low carbon future. Anderson and AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert outlined their vision for the year ahead at a virtual event today.

“Natural gas is incredibly affordable and reliable. We are rapidly innovating toward having renewable natural gas and hydrogen play a bigger role in the system,” said Anderson. “As companies think about, plan for and work towards a carbon-neutral future, we believe there is a important role ahead for natural gas distribution systems. I think it is an exciting and pivotal time for the industry.”

Anderson joined NW Natural, a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in Oregon and Southwest Washington, in 2004 and served in a number of leadership positions before becoming President and Chief Executive Officer in 2016. He will continue the multi-year theme set forth by AGA’s 2020 Chair Diane Leopold from Dominion Energy:

  • Protect the People: leveraging technology and evolving best practices to make the workforce and communities utilities serve safer every day.
  • Preserve the Planet: reducing emissions, finding new efficiencies and securing the gas system’s rightful place as part of the clean energy future.
  • Picture the Potential: reimagining the industry for the future, innovating, cultivating the workforce and exceeding customer expectations.

“NW Natural, under David Anderson’s visionary leadership, has delivered safe, affordable and reliable natural gas, and charted a path for what a 21st century energy system looks like. This coming year, our nation is facing the dual challenges of a financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and a shared goal of lowering emissions—natural gas can help with both. There are no republican or democratic energy molecules. We will continue to find consensus across political lines and do what is best for each community. I look forward to working with David on that effort,” said Harbert.

Anderson and Harbert pointed to AGA’s Climate Change Position Statement as a good starting point for meetings with policymakers. The document includes ten commitments made by natural gas utilities for reducing emissions and eight principles for an effective national policy approach to addressing climate change.

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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 76 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 72 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than thirty percent of the United States' energy needs.