National Fuel Gas Co. Chief Executive Officer Ronald J. Tanski was elected as chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America for a 1-year term during the trade association’s annual board meeting on Oct. 10. He succeeds David J. Devine, president of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s central regional gas pipelines.
INGAA’s focus during the next 12 months will continue to be safety; gas-electric reliability, which will involve constructing new pipelines; and environmental issues stemming from pipeline emissions, Tanski told reporters a day earlier at INGAA’s headquarters.
“Under Dave Devine’s leadership, INGAA and its members have continued working with regulators to lay the groundwork for new pipeline safety rules,” he said. Interstate gas pipelines and local distribution companies have continued to manage and improve infrastructure and operations to take pipeline safety and integrity management to the next level, Tanski said.
“One of my primary goals as chairman of INGAA is to maintain this effort as we deal with the new pipeline safety rules that we expect will be proposed in 2015, and begin planning to implement those rules in a way that ensures pipeline safety while minimizing customer disruptions,” he declared.
INGAA also will work to make more people understand more pipelines will be needed to meet growing demand for gas to generate more electricity, according to Tanski. “As part of this process, however, everyone needs to be mindful of the impact on other classes of pipeline customers, who in most cases are the shippers that anchored the development of our nation’s gas pipelines,” he said.
The movement of gas production from more conventional US Gulf Coast and western Canadian sandstone formations to unconventional shale basins also has contributed to the need for more domestic interstate gas pipelines, Tanski indicated. “As chairman, I intend to place an emphasis on education regarding pipeline construction and infrastructure development,” he said.
Tanski said he also believes it’s important to highlight how increased gas use has helped reduce US greenhouse gas emissions, largely through gas’s growing use to generate electricity. “We think it’s important for regulators, lawmakers, and other policymakers to recognize that natural gas development and gas pipelines are integral to meeting the nation’s environmental goals,” he said.
“We expect that environmental issues, including GHG and methane emissions, will be a priority issue in Washington during the coming year,” Tanski said. “We want to make sure that natural gas is seen as part of the solution to the problem of greenhouse gas, rather than an exacerbation of the problem.”
He said, “It’s important that we, and other stakeholders, continue to look for ways to enable construction of the pipelines needed to deliver gas reliably to power generators, without undermining the business and regulatory model that has created the robust pipeline infrastructure and competitive gas market that has benefited our nation’s economy and driven down energy costs across North America.”
INGAA’s board also elected Rory Miller, senior vice-president of the Atlantic-Gulf operating area for Williams Cos., as first vice-chairman, and Michael McMahon, senior vice-president, general counsel, and secretary of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, as second vice-chairman.
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