Regulatory commissioners throughout the U.S. will play a key role in realizing the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of natural gas, American Gas Association (AGA) Chairman Gregg Kantor told the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) as they gathered in Washington for their 2014 Winter Committee Meeting. By encouraging updated policies that reflect the new era of natural gas abundance, commissioners can help ensure that natural gas can compete fairly with other energy sources.
“You, the nation’s utility commissioners, are the ones who will truly shape the nation’s energy future,” said Kantor. “It is you who will make the tough decisions and provide the innovation that determines what energy path America follows.”
Kantor explained that the nation’s energy policies and regulations were put in place during a time of perceived natural gas constraint, and need to be re-examined to reflect the energy revolution that has resulted from today’s era of natural gas abundance.
“We need to ask ourselves, ‘Do our policies and regulations help ensure that the most Americans possible have the opportunity to use natural gas?’” Kantor said. “‘Do they incent the right decisions from an environmental perspective? Do they open the door to new end-uses for natural gas, such as distributed generation and transportation that could help consumers lower costs, reduce emissions and make us more energy independent?’ We seek a level playing field where the inherent benefits of natural gas are able to compete fairly with other energy sources.”
Kantor noted that for the next decade and beyond, domestic supplies of natural gas are expected to be sufficiently robust to meet significant growth in demand across all sectors at reasonable and relatively stable prices. He shared details from the recent American Gas Foundation and IHS CERA study, “Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home,” which outlines substantial opportunities to expand the use of natural gas in homes, businesses, manufacturing, transportation and more, as well as the resulting environmental, economic and energy security benefits. The commissioners will explore the study’s findings and implications during a panel session later this week.
“I am mindful of the tremendous responsibility that rests with each of you, for you are the ones who must translate America’s energy revolution into smart regulation and sound energy policy,” Kantor concluded. “Please know that the more than 200 local natural gas distribution companies that make up AGA’s membership look forward to working with you to make sure this abundant, domestic resource delivers on its promise of providing solutions for our consumers, our economy and our environment.”
Press Release, February 11, 2014