American Gas Association
|This article is part of the FrackSwarm coverage of fracking.|
The American Gas Association (AGA) is a trade group for natural gas utilities companies. Founded in 1989, AGA has 501(c)(6) status and lobbies for pro-methane gas legislation. It represents several large and multi-national methane gas companies, while touting its "local" connection on its website. In 2010, AGA spent $980,000 lobbying the federal government.
AGA's 2009 gross revenue was almost $49 million. Its former President and CEO, David N. Parker, received a total of $1.38 million from AGA and its associated organizations in 2009.
Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council
AGA is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Tom Moskitis, Managing Director of External Affairs for AGA (and a federal lobbyist for natural gas) is the 2011 co-chair of ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
AGA and Fracking
Many AGA corporations are involved in the controversial practice of fracking for methane gas in the Northeastern U.S. in the Marcellus Shale region and elsewhere. Though lauded as an environmentally-friendly alternative to coal, fracking for gas has been linked to depleting drinking water resources of local communities and polluting the wells of the people living around drill sites. According to a 2010 article in Vanity Fair, "as use of the technique (fracking) has spread, it has been followed by incidents of water contamination and environmental degradation, and even devastating health problems."  And according to data released to the EPA, Halliburton, a major supplier of fracking fluid, admitted using 807,000 gallons of diesel-based chemicals in its fluids, in violation of an agreement drillers had with the EPA.
Natural Gas Act 2011
H.R. 1380, also called the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, or the “NAT GAS Act,” is a bipartisan measure that would give provide federal tax cuts for vehicles powered by natural gas. It is a federal bill that was introduced into the 112th Congress by Rep. John Sullivan of (R-OK) and 187 co-sponsors.
"If enacted into law it will extend the tax credit of 50 cents per gallon of liquid natural gas (or its equivalent of compressed natural gas) when used for fueling vehicles, and will provide purchasers of natural gas vehicles with credits ranging from $7,500 (passenger cars) to $64,000 (big trucks). There will also be credits for natural gas vehicle manufacturers and for installing natural gas filling stations."
The bill has been pushed and lobbied for primarily by oil and gas tycoon T. Boone Pickens, as well as AGA, the Natural Gas Alliance and Energy in Depth. They argue that the bill, if passed as is, could help the U.S. reduce its reliance on foreign oil by as much as half.
Lobbying and Political Contributions
In 2010, Open Secrets reports that the AGA PAC spent a total of $424,862 in federal political contributions. House Democrats received $116,500 and House Republicans received $117,500. Senate Democrats received $30,500 and Senate Republicans received $51,500. 
Your Energy America
Your Energy America is a pro-natural gas and hydraulic fracturing (a.ka. "fracking) front group run by the American Gas Association (AGA).
Your Energy America was started in Spring, 2017 and states on its website that the organization: "was created to speak out against a misguided movement that assaults our way of life. This movement is based on the simplistic belief that keeping our natural resources in the ground is the only solution to climate change. This isn’t just false — it’s dangerous to our quality of life, economy and energy security."
A June 12th, 2017 investigative article on Huffington Post identifies Your Energy America as a "Fake Grassroots Group."
In audio recordings obtained by Huffington Post of a May 24th Virginia Chamber of Commerce event, Jim Cheng, who served as secretary of commerce under then-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, spoke on behalf of Your Energy America, saying that Your Energy America, "... was created to raise the energy IQ of Virginians about the many benefits of natural gas. And to try to follow on these radical and uniformed elements within your communities that try to intimidate or shut down pro-energy supporters.”
The members page of AGA's website is not accessible. Some members are known, and they include:
- AGL Resources Inc.
- Questar Corp.
- Southern California Gas Co.
- Integrys Energy Group
- Questar Pipeline Co.
- Consolidated Edison, Inc.
- SourceGas, LLC
- Vectren Corporation
- Ameren Illinois
- Atmos Energy Corporation
- EQT Corp.
- Nicor Gas
- Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.
- Union Gas Ltd.
- New Jersey Resources Corporation
- Xcel Energy Inc.
- Corning Natural Gas Corp.
- Tampa Electric Co. & Peoples Gas System
- MDU Utilities Group
- South Jersey Industries, Inc.
- Alliant Energy
- Louisville Gas and Electric Co.
- Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc.
- Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
- NW Natural
- Public Service Electric & Gas Co.
- WGL Holdings, Inc.
- CenterPoint Energy
- Energen Corp.
- Avista Corp.
- DTE Energy
- ONEOK, Inc.
- PECO Energy
- Yankee Gas
- CMS Energy Corp.
- Continental Energy Systems LLC
- Southwest Gas Corp.
- NiSource Inc.
- Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc.
- National Fuel Gas Company
- Dominion Resources, Inc.
- UGI Corp.
- Philadephia Gas Works
- The Laclede Group, Inc.
Board of Directors
- Chairman of the Board of Directors: John W. Somerhalder II, chairman, president & CEO, AGL Resources Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
- President and CEO: Dave McCurdy, former president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
- Second Vice Chair: Ronald W. Jibson, president & CEO, Questar Corp. (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Michael W. Allman, president & CEO, Southern California Gas Co. (San Diego, CA)
- Lawrence T. Borgard, president & COO, Utilities, Integrys Energy Group (Green Bay, WI)
- R. Allan Bradley, president & CEO, Questar Pipeline Co. (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Kevin Burke, chairman, president & CEO, Consolidated Edison, Inc. (New York, NY)
- William N. Cantrell, president & CEO, SourceGas, LLC (Lakewood, CO)
- Carl L. Chapman, president & CEO, Vectren Corp. (Evansville, IN)
- Scott A. Cisel, president & CEO, Ameren Illinois (Peoria, IL)
- Kim R. Cocklin, president & CEO, Atmos Energy Corp. (Dallas, TX)
- Randall L. Crawford, SVP & president, midstream, distribution & commercial, EQT Corp. (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Rocco D'Alessandro, executive vice president, operations, Nicor Gas (Naperville, IL)
- Kenneth W. DeFontes, Jr., president & CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (Baltimore, MD)
- Julie A. Dill, president, Union Gas Ltd. (Chatham, ON)
- Laurence M. Downes, chairman & CEO, New Jersey Resources (Wall, NJ)
- Benjamin G. Fowke, president & COO, Xcel Energy Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)
- Michael I. German, president, CEO & director, Corning Natural Gas Corp. (Corning, NY)
- Gordon L. Gillette, president, Tampa Electric Co. & Peoples Gas System (Tampa, FL)
- David L. Goodin, president & CEO, MDU Utilities Group (Seattle,. WA)
- Edward J. Graham, chairman, president & CEO, South Jersey Industries, Inc. (Folsom, NJ)
- William D. Harvey, chairman & CEO, Alliant Energy (Madison, WI)
- Chris Hermann, senior vice president, energy delivery, Louisville Gas and Electric Co. (Louisville, KY)
- Glenn R. Jennings, chairman, president & CEO, Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc. (Winchester, KY)
- Christopher P. Johns, president, Pacifc Gas & Electric Co. (San Francisco, CA)
- Gregg S. Kantor, president & CEO, NW Natural (Portland, OR)
- Ralph A. LaRossa, president & COO, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (Newark, NJ)
- Terry D. McCallister, chairman & CEO, WGL Holdings, Inc. (Washington, DC)
- David M. McClanahan, president & CEO, CenterPoint Energy (Houston, TX)
- James T. McManus, II, chairman & CEO, Energen Corp. (Birmingham, AL)
- Scott Morris, chairman, president & CEO, Avista Corp (Spokane, WA)
- Jerry Norcia, president & COO, MichCon, DTE Energy (Detroit, MI)
- Pierce H. Norton II, chief executive officer, ONEOK, Inc. (Tulsa, OK)
- Denis O’Brien, president & CEO, PECO Energy (Philadelphia, PA)
- Rodney O. Powell, president & COO, Yankee Gas (Berlin, CT)
- John G. Russell, president & CEO, CMS Energy Corp. (Jackson, MI)
- George A. Schreiber, Jr., president & CEO, Continental Energy Systems LLC (Troy, MI)
- Jeffrey W. Shaw, chief executive officer, Southwest Gas Corp. (Las Vegas, NV)
- Robert C. Skaggs, Jr., chairman, president & CEO, NiSource Inc. (Merrillville, IN)
- Thomas E. Skains, chairman, president & CEO, Piedmont Natural Gas Co., Inc. (Charlotte, NC)
- David F. Smith, chairman & CEO, National Fuel Gas Company (Williamsville, NY)
- Gary Sypolt, CEO, Dominion Energy, Dominion Resources, Inc. (Richmond, VA)
- John L. Walsh, president & COO, UGI Corp. (King of Prussia, PA)
- Craig White, executive vice president & COO, Philadephia Gas Works (Philadelphia, PA)
- Douglas H. Yaeger, chairman, president & CEO, The Laclede Group, Inc. (St. Louis, MO)
AGA Main Switchboard
400 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- David W. Biegler - former chair
- Center for Responsive Politics, "American Gas Assn: 2010 Total Lobbying Expenditures," OpenSecrets.org online database, accessed June 27, 2011
- American Gas Association, "2009 Form 990," Schedule J-2, Internal Revenue Service filing, November 12, 2010, p. 30
- Thomas L. Moskitis profile, Consumer Energy Alliance, accessed July 8, 2011.
- Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force, ALEC website, accessed July 8, 2011.
- "A Colossal Fracking Mess", Vanity Fair 2010.
- "Fracking Halliburton", Mother Jones.
- Energy Subsidies: Our Gifts That Keep On Taking,"Larry Bell, Forbes Blog. May 17, 2011"
- Center for Responsive Politics, AGA Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2010, Open Secrets, accessed July 8, 2011.
- American Gas Association, "Board of Directors," organization website, accessed June 27, 2011
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