Jackie Bavaro 2017 AGA Chairman Pierce Norton is Moving Natural Gas Forward

The December/January issue of American Gas magazine titled, “A Clear Path,” features AGA’s 2017 Chairman Pierce H. Norton II, president and CEO of ONE Gas Inc., and discusses his career and his mission to continue moving natural gas forward.

In 2014, after working for eight companies in eight different cities, Norton became the first president and CEO of ONE Gas, Inc., a natural gas utility based in Tulsa, OK, that provides distribution services to more than two million customers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Norton credits his hometown of Heflin, Alabama for providing him with the tools for success–both in his life and his career.

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Pierce H. Norton II, President and CEO, ONE Gas Inc., and 2017 AGA Chairman

Throughout his career, Norton has put to work the values he internalized from his upbringing, which has shined through during his leadership at One Gas. The company and its employees focus on executing its inclusion strategy of becoming ONE—ONE in responsibility, ONE in value and ONE in the industry. Emphasizing all three is important to Norton and the management team. ONE Gas has been particularly active with United Way, supporting 67 different United Way agencies throughout its service territories. In 2015 alone, the company donated more than $1.4 million to the United Way in all of its territories, just part of the $2.2 million ONE Gas invested last year in the communities it serves.

A member of AGA’s board of directors for the past six years, Norton has spent the past year leading a strategic planning initiative for the industry. We are excited to work with Pierce and his team in 2017, and we know his experience and insight will help keep the industry on track and moving forward.

To read the full profile of Pierce Norton in American Gas, click here.

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Jackie Bavaro Utilities United Against Scams Campaign: #StopScams

This week, the American Gas Association, in coordination with a number of natural gas utilities and industry trade associations, have launched an inaugural campaign, titled “Utilities United Against Scams.” This collaborative effort is geared toward promoting awareness and prevention of the increasing number of scamming incidents targeting utility customers across North America. As a result of this effort, every year, the third Wednesday in November will be designated as Utilities United Against Scams Day.

This national campaign addresses the wide-range of utility scams including telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other scams that involve criminals posing as utility company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information from customers. Scammers often target those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly and non-native English speakers. However, with the right information, customers can learn to avoid and report these predatory scams.

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Customers who believe they have been targeted by utility scammers should follow these tips:

  • Hang up the phone or close the door, and call your utility company’s verified direct phone number. You can find this number on your company’s website or on your utility bill.
  • Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer, or any other form of payment that may be difficult to trace.
  • Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete any emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
  • Delete all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.
  • Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number, or your state attorney general’s office, or contact the Federal Trade Commission.

AGA is committed to promoting awareness of the increasingly sophisticated and complex nature of utility scams across the nation, ultimately helping to protect customers from this fraudulent activity. AGA member companies across the nation will continue to work alongside law enforcement, industry stakeholders and political leaders at the local and national level to denounce these disruptive scams.

Follow our Twitter and Facebook pages to participate in the Utilities United Against Scams campaign and use the hashtag #StopScams to join the conversation.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: November 14, 2016

Relatively low acquisition prices, an extraordinarily warm summer and retiring coal-fired power generation combined to push natural gas volumes for power generation in the lower-48 to new highs in 2016. Natural gas spot prices failed to close above $3.00 per MMBtu at any time during the summer, in turn creating a market dynamic ripe for coal-to-gas re-dispatch on the electric grid. But that wasn’t the only coal-to-gas dynamic; the 22 gigawatts of coal-fired power plant capacity retired during the past two years also created new demand for natural gas. And this past summer turned out to be the hottest of any in 50 years.

The combined effects of these factors meant that from April through October gas draws for power generation averaged 30 Bcf per day, which is 6 percent higher than last year and 18 percent higher than the five-year average. Remarkable demand indeed. Now as we approach winter, heating loads in small volume markets will predominantly shape the market—that is, if it ever gets cold across a significant portion of the country. Storage inventories are elevated and in record territory. Production is strong and stable. Even rig counts are starting to rise once again. In all, North American natural gas supplies are robust while, for the most part, temperatures are mild—a recipe for modest forward pricing.

Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Shale Gas, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.

Please direct questions and comments to Chris McGill at cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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Jackie Bavaro #FuelingOurCommunities: Raising Breast Cancer Awareness

Natural gas utilities are truly #FuelingOurCommunities through the positive impact they make in each of the areas they serve, in addition to building inclusive and sustainable initiatives that provide lasting impact on customers’ lives. We are thrilled to be able to help highlight some of their efforts through our social media platforms and here on the blog. This month, we are spotlighting Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and how the company has rallied around breast cancer awareness initiatives.

Last May, in recognition of breast cancer awareness and research, more than 40 Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania employees and their family members, including two breast cancer survivors, joined thousands of walkers and runners participating in the Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day.

The York Team at Columbia Gas of PA, spreading the word during National Breast Cancer Awareness month this past October.

The York Team at Columbia Gas of PA, wearing their safety pink shirts to help spread the word during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

To show additional support, Columbia Gas made a $2,500 sponsorship to the Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and nearly 800 Columbia Gas employees throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland traded in their normal work attire for safety pink T-shirts. The company showed their pride by using the hashtag #powerofpink to share their efforts and start a dialogue on social media around this important matter.

AGA member companies are committed to supporting organizations that are working to make a positive difference in the communities where natural gas is delivered safely and reliably to the more than 72 million customers who rely on this clean energy resource.

We appreciate the efforts of AGA members that give back throughout the year, helping lift up their communities across the country. Please use the hashtag #FuelingOurCommunities to highlight how you’re giving back so we can promote your good work on our social media channels.

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