Category Archives: energy

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.

norton

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.

Posted in energy | Leave a comment

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.

162785-utilities-united-logo-final-k

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.

Posted in energy | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in energy | Leave a comment

Jackie Bavaro Liquefied Natural Gas Asserts its Role as a Marine Transportation Fuel

The November issue of American Gas magazine titled, “Sea Change,” examines the global opportunities for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and its role as a marine transportation fuel as the world continues to move toward an international emission standard.

Six years ago, the marine industry was the last large emission source that remained unregulated. Since then, mandates from the International Maritime Organization have led ship owners to develop new solutions. Today, more cruise line owners are buying into LNG worldwide, with the goal to have 80 percent of cruise ships LNG-powered by 2025.

In Central America, the expansion of the Panama Canal had a major impact on the amgasmaritime industry in 2016, boosting LNG trade by lowering costs and ramping up transport. In July, Royal Dutch Shell’s Maran Gas Apollonia tanker, loaded with a cargo of U.S. LNG from Cheniere-operated Sabine Pass, became the first standard-size LNG vessel to traverse the canal. Bloomberg recently reported that 90 percent of the world’s fleet of tankers carrying LNG exports will now have access to this shortcut to Asia, which bodes well for U.S. gas companies exporting LNG to other countries.

Meanwhile, the Paris Agreement formulated during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in December 2015 marked the first universal, legally-binding global climate deal, with 195 countries agreeing on a global action plan to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius. Although international shipping was not included in this agreement, amid the optimistic predictions for growth, all eyes are on the International Maritime Organization to see whether the sulfur emission standard for emission control areas will be dropped from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent in 2020, or deferred until 2025.

Europe has spent approximately $150 million to date to develop LNG infrastructure. Before Brexit, all 28 member nations of the European Union unanimously agreed to a formal policy that said there will be LNG bunkering capability in all deep-sea ports in Europe and all inland ports on the continent by 2025. By the end of this year, several of Europe’s major ports will have bunkering capability.

While LNG remains a relatively new fuel source for oceans-going vessels, marked growth in the number of LNG-fueled ships signals the beginning of a new era. For more information on marine LNG activity, you can access the American Gas article here.

Posted in energy | Leave a comment