THE AMERICAN PUBLIC GAS ASSOCIATION (APGA) is the only trade association that solely represents the interests of public gas systems at the legislative and regulatory level. APGA advocates for policy priorities established by our members and educates policymakers, media and consumers about the interests and concerns that impact the operations of public gas systems. On behalf of our members, which are over 700 municipally owned natural gas systems in 38 states, APGA is committed to working with Congress, policymakers and our members in their local communities to advance policy priorities that protect consumer choice, maintain energy affordability and advance the reliability and efficiency of our country’s energy future in a sustainable way.
Public gas systems’ primary focus is on providing safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas service to their customers. As not-for-profit entities, they are incentivized to put the customer first and give back to the community; also, our members see themselves as responsible stewards of the environment and of their communities.
APGA provides a number of services to our members, ranging from education and advocacy to assistance on operations and safety. APGA’s Operations & Safety program provides venues for continuous learning through conferences and workshops, disseminates critical pipeline safety information and provides access to tools and technologies that enhance the safe operations of public gas systems across the country. For instance, APGA’s Gas Overall Awareness Level (GOAL) program helps members develop and implement Public Awareness Plans and periodically assess the effectiveness of their efforts to inform customers and non-customers close to its lines about the safe use of gas. The program also helps identify areas where they can further educate the public about safety measures, including the use of scratch and sniff cards to help customers become familiar with the odor of natural gas and with the steps they can take to make sure they’re using gas safely.
APGA also provides opportunities for public gas systems to engage with their peers and share insights and best practices. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, APGA held many member roundtables to discuss every aspect of navigating the pandemic. During these conversations, APGA members jointly discussed best practices for acquiring personal protective equipment, managing customer relationships and keeping their personnel socially distant while maintaining the operations of their systems and preserving consumer access to energy in this critical time
With its growing domestic supply and safe, reliable and efficient delivery system reaching almost every home and business in America, the direct use of natural gas is an important part of our country’s energy future and a pathway to addressing global warming. Natural gas is three times more efficient than electricity, providing a low-cost clean energy source without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses reduces demand for other, more carbon intensive forms of energy and results in net carbon emission reductions.
Natural gas is an important part of our country’s energy mix today and into the future. As we look to address global warming, natural gas should be viewed as part of the solution. APGA supports pragmatic policies to sustainably reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and advocates that the direct use of natural gas needs to be part of the solution. Policies that eliminate the direct use of natural gas are flawed, short-sighted and will only serve to negatively impact the millions of Americans who rely on natural gas to heat their homes, power their appliances and cook their food.
Although the direct use of natural gas in residential and commercial settings makes up only 12% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, our members, and APGA as a whole, are constantly looking for ways to improve operations in a way that reduces their footprint even further and enhances the environment, including through efficiency improvements and through investments in hydrogen and renewable natural gas.