Author Archives: Chris Hogan

Chris Hogan Representative Tom Reed Speaks on House Floor in Support of Natural Gas

Yesterday, Representative Tom Reed (R-29th) of New York spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the responsible and transparent development of America’s abundant natural gas supplies.

AGA commends Representative Reed for leading the House’s Marcellus Shale Coalition and continuing to help lead America toward a clean energy future.

“Mister Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to the plentiful natural gas reserves that we have in the United States.  Many of my colleagues may not be aware of two studies which recently highlighted the abundance of this clean-burning, domestic fuel source which holds so much promise.

The first study I’d like to draw attention to is the Energy Information Administration’s Energy Outlook 2011, which analyzes energy production, consumption, technology, and market supply and demand and the direction these trends may take in the future.

The Outlook anticipates strong growth in natural gas development and consumption because of development of shale gas resources.  It notes that growth in natural gas would not be possible but for the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies which have made shale gas economical to produce.  It finds that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to an average annual growth rate of forty-eight percent during the time period from 2006-2010.

The second study I’d like mention is the Potential Gas Committee’s 2010 biennial report. This report highlights the potential supply of natural gas in the United States. To be specific, the report finds that the United States possesses an untapped natural gas resource potential of 1,898 trillion cubic feet. This is the highest resource evaluation in the Potential Gas Committee’s 46 year history.

My Congressional District in New York State overlays a formation known as the Marcellus Shale.  This shale play is one of the leading contributors to the rapid growth in estimates of recoverable natural gas in the United States.

By developing and utilizing these massive natural gas reserves, we can begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and thus over time, reduce the cost of gasoline.  As we all know, American producers and consumers are paying a heavy price as he cost of gasoline continues to rise. Everything costs more to produce, more to transport, and more to purchase.

Reducing our dependence on foreign oil is both a national security issue and an economic issue.  I urge my colleagues to consider these reports and support policies that will lead to the development of these valuable resources.”

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Chris Hogan President Obama’s Natural Gas Plan

The American Gas Association is pleased to see President Obama focusing on how America can further increase our energy and national security.  The president’s public and proactive commitment to reduce American consumption of foreign oil by increasing the role of natural gas, renewable energy and emerging technologies, particularly in the transportation sector, demonstrates an assertive approach to energy security.

For so many reasons, Mr. Obama’s newfound focus on the benefits of clean, domestic natural gas is especially heartening.

Natural gas is the foundation fuel for our clean energy future and must be part of any energy policy produced by the 112th Congress.  And, with more than 100 years of supply readily available, and a safe and reliable delivery infrastructure already in place, we can put it to use right now to help us meet our energy challenges.  Natural gas is America’s natural fit.

The president’s commitment to the responsible development and use of domestic natural gas is also a step in the right direction.  The safe, transparent production of America’s vast natural gas resources, particularly shale gas, should be a top priority for the industry and we here at AGA are committed to working with all parties to ensure that happens.

Natural gas’ impact is also far-reaching, including support of many alternative and renewable energy options, from wind to solar.  Every day, 662,000 people work to explore for, produce, transport and distribute natural gas.  And as a whole, the natural gas industry employs nearly 3 million people in all 50 states.

New fuel economy and emissions standards will mean a larger role for clean, efficient natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in securing America’s clean energy future.  Tough new fuel standards will raise average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and the administration’s national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans and buses will help to cut oil use and further promote the increased deployment of NGVs.

The impact of efficient, abundant and domestic natural gas is wide-ranging and poised to move our energy economy forward to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Posted in energy, Natural Gas | 1 Comment

Chris Hogan AGA’s Dave McCurdy: Natural Gas Is Clean, Plentiful, Creates Jobs

In today’s issue of Roll Call, Dave McCurdy, AGA president and CEO, discusses the important role played by clean, abundant, efficient and domestic natural gas. You can also read Dave’s editorial on Roll Call’s website.

President Barack Obama appears to be taking a second look at how to pass comprehensive energy legislation that will improve energy efficiency, reduce consumer costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase America’s energy security and create American jobs. This is a tall order but an achievable one. The question is whether one of the surest ways to meet these goals — clean, American natural gas — will be a defining part of a sound energy policy going forward.

At a recent address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the president pointed out that the government has a role to play in encouraging energy efficiency to help meet many of our most pressing challenges. And earlier this month during an address on energy at Pennsylvania State University, the president noted that buildings consume 40 percent of the energy we use and present a tremendous opportunity for large-scale energy savings.

“That may not sound too sexy,” Obama said at Penn State, but “making our buildings more energy efficient is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to save money, combat pollution and create jobs right here in the United States of America.”

The president is right. Efficiency gains haven’t earned a fraction of the media hoopla around energy stories such as the promise of electric cars or advances in renewable technologies such as wind and solar. But the even bigger untold story is that using environmentally friendly, domestically abundant natural gas directly in American homes and businesses is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to achieve our goals of improving energy efficiency, while reducing consumers’ energy costs and enhancing job creation.

Look no further than the ever-expanding American home for a prime example of the potential efficiency gains from natural gas. The size of the average American home has increased by more than 50 percent since 1970, yet during that same time period, natural gas consumption has gone down by 40 percent per household because of more efficient appliances and tighter homes. If more homes and businesses switch to this clean energy source, it would result in millions of dollars in savings for consumers. It would also create additional jobs in an industry that already employs nearly 3 million American workers.

Beyond the reduced consumption, the energy that is created from the direct use of natural gas, which is by far our cleanest fossil fuel, produces fewer carbon emissions.
Perhaps most important, clean natural gas is an American source of energy — readily available now and for hundreds of years in the future. Almost 90 percent of the natural gas we use today is produced in the United States, and we possess at least a 100-year supply of natural gas resources.

If it were a larger part of our energy equation, we would not be as dependent on energy imports from foreign nations or as susceptible to international incidents and energy market fluctuations as we are now.

The uprising in Egypt, which briefly pushed oil prices past $100 per barrel, is just another example of actions beyond our shores that can result in millions of dollars in higher energy prices for American consumers.

We tend to focus on anticipated technology or latest innovation as the solution to our nation’s energy needs. Technology and innovation are critically important across the spectrum of energy industries, including natural gas, but as we work to meet our energy challenges, it’s time that we look beyond the “sexy” headlines and ensure that clean natural gas is a central part of any energy policy produced in the 112th Congress. For a clean, reliable and abundant source of American energy, natural gas is a natural fit.

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Chris Hogan Winter Weather Challenges The Southwest

As some of the worst winter weather of a generation sweeps across the country, energy providers from your local electric company to your local gas company are working hard to keep services up and running. Unfortunately, when Mother Nature deals a hand like the one we are seeing in the Southwest, with frigid temperatures well below the norm, customers can put extra demand on the system.

Power companies are also utilizing more natural gas than normal to meet their electric demands. All of which can lead to the situation we are seeing now. When demand for natural gas exceeds the resources available in the pipe, key factors like pipeline pressure are affected and the results can be customers being shut down.

It’s important to note that this is a rare occurrence as the nation’s pipeline system is one of the most reliable in the world. But safety is the top priority, so customers must be shut down when this does occur – it’s a safety protocol.

Natural gas utilities are doing everything they can to get more natural gas into the lines and ensure that folks have the gas they need to stay safe and warm. Part of this process will require customers who have been shut off to be safely re-lit by their natural gas utility.

To that end, the natural gas utility will need to gain access to affected homes or buildings in order to re-light customers. Customers who are away from their home for an extended period, due to vacation or for other reasons, should contact their utility directly to see what arrangements can be made to restore service.

Safety is always the first priority, and the customers affected should follow the lead of their local natural gas company. In no instance, should anyone seek to re-light any natural gas appliances themselves.

Posted in Natural Gas, safety, winter heating | 1 Comment