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WASHINGTON (November 9, 2020) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has appointed new members representing 16 state public utility commissions to its Natural Gas Partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate the exchange of information on emerging regulatory and technological solutions to advance the safety, reliability, resilience, affordability and environmental performance of the nation's natural gas infrastructure.
The Natural Gas Partnership, initiated in July 2020, follows the successful NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership, a collaboration among state regulators, federal agencies and other stakeholders to discuss natural gas pipeline leak detection and measurement tools and new technologies and cost-effective practices for enhancing pipeline safety, efficiency and deliverability. The NGIMP was active from 2016 until June 2020 and produced resources on natural gas infrastructure replacement programs, methane emissions detection technologies, renewable natural gas and more. Some of the most notable products from the NGIMP include the following publications and resources:
“The partnership will deliver value to state regulators and natural gas customers by illuminating advanced technologies and best practices to improve the reliability, resilience, safety, affordability and environmental attributes of our natural gas system,” said NARUC President Brandon Presley. “The NGP will examine a range of issues related to natural gas regulation, from leak detection to liquefied natural gas to cybersecurity and more.”
“The Department of Energy and NARUC have partnered for years to strengthen the collaboration between state energy regulators and the federal government,” said Shawn Bennett, the Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. “The Natural Gas Partnership will continue that critical relationship and provide important opportunities for knowledge sharing and engagement.”
The NGP is chaired by Commissioner Diane X. Burman, of the New York State Public Service Commission, who also chairs the NARUC Committee on Gas and has chaired the NGIMP since its inception. Burman is looking forward to continuing to lead activities in the coming year, such as the publication of white papers, facilitating educational engagements, organizing site visits at research and development facilities and other opportunities.
“Building on the success of the NGIMP, the new Natural Gas Partnership will continue to enable information sharing on identifying emerging technologies and examining critical issues associated with natural gas, including cybersecurity investments, artificial intelligence, hydrogen production and natural gas infrastructure, liquefied natural gas and more,” said Burman. “We have an excellent group of NARUC members representing NARUC’s geographic regions, substantive expertise drawing from key NARUC committees and racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity.”
The following commissioners and NARUC members have been appointed to the partnership:
Jay Balasbas, Washington; Julie Brown, Florida; Maida Coleman, Missouri; Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Pennsylvania; Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota; D. Ethan Kimbrel, Illinois; Thad LeVar, Utah; Odogwu Obi Linton, Maryland; Talina Mathews, Kentucky; Kim O’Guinn, Arkansas; Brandon Presley, Mississippi; Tricia Pridemore, Georgia; Katie Sieben, Minnesota; and Dianne Solomon, New Jersey. Andreas Thanos, chair of the NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Gas, will also join the partnership.
The partnership is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation, with Senior Manager Kiera Zitelman serving as the primary coordinator and point of contact.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government. www.naruc.org