Category Archives: welcome

Dave McCurdy A message from AGA President and CEO, Dave McCurdy

My Start at AGA

I suppose most Americans will remember February 7, 2011, as the day after the Green Bay Packers won their fourth Super Bowl, but I will remember that day as the day I took the helm of the American Gas Association.

I come to AGA from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, where I served as president and CEO, and before that I led the Electronic Industries Alliance, so I am very familiar with the association world. I am also very familiar with the political process, having served seven terms as a member of Congress, representing the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma.

And, yes, I am also a “Sooner” and proud of it, in great part because Oklahoma is a state in which energy exploration and production is a way of life. I grew up in Oklahoma’s oil and gas patch, so I am very familiar with the amazing advances in technology that now allow us to produce energy in an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. I am also well aware of the new unconventional sources of clean natural gas that are coming to market, especially shale gas, which has the potential to be a true game-changer with respect to our long-term domestic gas supply outlook.

AGA and its members deliver clean natural gas that can fuel our economy for hundreds of years to come, making us more competitive and energy independent, while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions along the way.  Simply put, clean natural gas is poised to deliver on many of the challenges we face today.

That is why I believe it’s time to put in place a national energy policy that meets the demands of a clean energy economy. Such a policy should feature increased domestic energy production, aggressive energy efficiency goals, a commitment to alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and nuclear, and—most of all—a focus on the central role that clean, domestically abundant natural gas can and must play in fueling our future.   

To these ends, I ask you to join us in advocating practical, commonsense policies that integrate the entire fuel mix.  Together we can ensure our energy security, foster our economic growth and advance our environmental stewardship.

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Dave Parker Who is the American Gas Association?

“You think you know me well/Well, you don’t know me.” You Don’t Know Me by (“The Genius”) Ray Charles

At the American Gas Association (AGA), which represents the natural gas distribution segment of the natural gas industry, we know how Ray Charles felt because as omnipresent as our members are in Americans’ lives, most people don’t know us at all.

who is the american gas association

Part of the problem is our name.   Many people hear “gas” association and automatically think of gasoline.   Maybe some years back we should have changed our name to the American Natural Gas Association, and maybe someday in the future we will.  But for now the best we can do is explain patiently that we represent natural gas utilities, which have nothing to do with gasoline or the oil that is refined into gasoline.

Another problem is that we are closely connected, at least in the public’s mind – and too often in Congress’ mind – with the energy producing segment of the industry, as in the “oil and gas” industry.   It’s almost one word, the “oilandgas” industry, as if we were joined at the hip.  That mistaken perception is certainly enhanced by the trade association that does represent the major energy producers, the American Petroleum Institute, or API, which has run a gazillion ads that state those ads are sponsored by “the people of America’s oil and natural gas industry.”  Yes, the producers API represents produce natural gas as well as oil, but AGA does not represent the oil or natural gas producing community, which, in addition to API, is represented by several other producer-focused associations at the state and local level.

We represent that local natural gas utility down the street or across town – the one that delivers natural gas for home heating, water heating, cooking and other end-use applications to more than 70 million homes and businesses throughout the United States.

Why is clearing up this confusion about who we are so important to us?   For one thing, when the price of energy, be it gasoline or natural gas, skyrockets, the media, the general public and, once again, members of Congress, assume our members are raking in the dough.  Actually, by law, natural gas utilities can’t make one penny of profit on the natural gas commodity they deliver to customers – what they pay suppliers for natural gas is what they charge customers.  So high prices hurt utilities as well as customers because more customers have trouble paying their energy bills.

Rather, our members make their money by charging a fee for the delivery, and maintenance, of the natural gas pipeline system in which they deliver natural gas to the customer.  In that sense, we’re more like UPS or FedEx than API.  Our members are delivery vehicles.

We are AGA. Every day, 70 million customers – which adds up to 171 million Americans – receive clean-burning natural gas safely and reliably from our 202 natural gas utility members.   Hopefully, now you know us.

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Dave Parker Welcome to the new American Gas Association blog “True Blue Natural Gas”

It is said that there are 133,000,000 blogs out there in the “blogosphere.” Make that 133,000,001. The American Gas Association (AGA), which has served and represented the interests of natural gas utilities and their customers since 1918 – we just celebrated our 90th birthday – now has its own blog, “True Blue Natural Gas.” We are starting the energy conversation and we invite you to join us in discussing not just natural gas issues, but energy issues as well. With the price of all energy going up and down like that proverbial rollercoaster, and everyone wondering why, we can’t think of a better time to add our voice to the debate. What is more, we are especially proud of the role that natural gas has always played, and will continue to play, in meeting not only our nation’s energy needs, but also our environmental goals. Natural gas is by far the cleanest burning fossil fuel. It is also domestically abundant and it is delivered to America’s 70,000,000 homes, businesses and industries through a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible delivery system that is the envy of the world.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, but the bloggers who will be posting on this site three times a week will not be touting the company line. On the “about page” you will see a disclaimer pointing out that the “opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations” of our bloggers are not necessarily those of AGA. We purposely want our bloggers to feel free to express their opinions on a wide variety of energy and energy-related topics, including, but not limited to, those areas in which they are truly experts. We picked our bloggers because they are creative and enjoy a good conversation, but also are very enthusiastic about joining the blogosphere. As our blog notes, we want to engage you in a dialogue and as you all know well, in the blogosphere the possibilities are endless. To that end, our bloggers believe they can educate you on energy issues, but they also believe they can learn from you. So let the energy conversation begin!

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