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American Public Gas Association: Public Natural Gas Utilities Meet Virtually With Congressional Representatives

Source: 
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)

WASHINGTON, March 2 -- The American Public Gas Association issued the following news release:

Throughout February and into March, members of the American Public Gas Association (APGA), representing more than 700 local, municipally-owned natural gas systems in 38 states, have been meeting with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss public gas utilities' core priorities for the 117th legislative session including:

* Reforming Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA): For too long, the consumers served by APGA's members have not received the same protections as electric utility customers against "unjust and unreasonable" rates charged by transmission entities. In 2021, APGA aims to work with the House and Senate on legislation that provides parity between the NGA and the Federal Power Act (FPA), ultimately to provide the necessary utility rate protections to natural gas consumers.

* Improved and Expanded Service: Senators Wicker (R-Miss.) and Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced legislation in the 116th Congress allowing for a long-term solution to fix our nation's infrastructure shortcomings, including improving and expanding natural gas service to underserved or unserved Americans through American Infrastructure Bonds (AIBs). This tool gives municipalities the ability to issue debt via taxable municipal bonds. APGA members support reintroduction of this legislation, allowing many American communities to attract new capital investment and reignite growth as economic recovery efforts continue amid the ongoing pandemic.

* Energy Choice: APGA is concerned about recent efforts by some in Congress to force an all-electric society, which would undermine American consumers' ability to choose the appliances that best suit their household budgets and needs. Over 69 million Americans rely on natural gas for energy in their homes. Another 5.7 million commercial and industrial businesses are supplied through the same local gas utilities to meet their daily needs. Pursuing America's clean energy future should take a balanced approach, ensuring a secure energy infrastructure affordable for all generations. APGA will urge the 117th Congress not to introduce any legislation that directly or indirectly limits Americans' individual fuel choices.

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