Natural Gas Policy Institute | Aug. 28-29, 2019, Chicago, Ill.


Natural gas pipeline.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently hosted the Natural Gas Policy Institute to explore a range of policy issues related to natural gas. This day-and-a-half meeting took place Aug. 28-29, 2019 at the AC Hotel in Chicago, Ill.

Natural gas usage continues to increase and is, therefore, playing a larger role in state energy systems and economies. State legislators are critical to shaping policies that address a broad range of natural gas-related challenges and opportunities. The Natural Gas Policy Institute provided legislators with the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time exploring the economic and regulatory issues related to the production, distribution and end use of natural gas resources. 

The North American Natural Gas Revolution

This session examined the driving forces behind the natural gas revolution in the U.S. and investigated the short and long-term outlook for supply and consumption. The presenters also explored how these developments are affecting the energy mix, electricity prices and the economy.

  • Steve Nalley, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Energy Information Administration | Presentation
  • Daniel Raimi, Senior Research Associate, Resources for the Future | Presentation

Pipeline Infrastructure

This session examined major pipeline projects and examined efforts from state policymakers, federal agencies, and the natural gas industry to address challenges related to siting, permitting and financing upgrades to pipeline infrastructure.

  • Jeff Wright, President, Brown, Williams, Moorhead & Quinn, Inc. | Presentation
  • Andrew Hesselbach, Vice President - Construction, Peoples Gas | Presentation
  • Toby Mack, President & CEO, Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance | Presentation

Natural Gas-Electric Harmonization

The growing use of natural gas for electricity generation has stretched pipeline capacity, causing competition between the electricity generation and heating markets. This session discussed how policymakers, electric utilities and natural gas industries are working to address this challenge. Supply fluctuations, access issues, and ways to reduce reliability risks were also discussed.

  • Jay Balasbas, Commissioner, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission | No Presentation
  • Mark Leskowitz, Vice President for Fuel Procurement, American Electric Power | Presentation
  • Dan Lapato, Senior Director of State Affairs, American Gas Association | Presentation

The Resiliency Case

Much discussion has taken place in recent years over fuel security and the role of natural gas in emergency scenarios. This session addressed some of the false narratives and explore what grid operators are doing to ensure reliability.

  • Moderator: Diane Burman, Commissioner, New York Public Service Commission 
  • Fritz Hirst, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, North American Electric Reliability Corporation | Presentation
  • Dan Kirschner, Executive Director, Northwest Gas Association | Presentation

Methane Leak Detection

This session discussed state policies regarding methane emissions from the natural gas sector, along with the technologies and initiatives that the industry is putting in place.

  • Moderator: Ethan Kimbrel, Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission
  • Kristine Wiley, Research & Development Director, GTI | Presentation
  • Jim Rutherford, Senior Vice President for Products, Heath Consultants | Presentation

State Safety Initiatives

This session discussed state safety initiatives, such as updates to state One-Call Laws, and how state agencies are working with federal counterparts to ensure safe operations.

  • Gary Kenny, National Chair, National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives | Presentation
  • Sarah Magruder Lyle, President & CEO, Common Ground Alliance | Presentation

Natural Gas Applications: Technology and Policy

This session explored other uses of natural gas that are driving demand, including emissions reductions with Combined Heat & Power and its use as a feedstock for the chemical industry. The session also looked at areas of growth, such as the increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the role of renewable natural gas, which can be produced at landfills and wastewater treatment facilities. The challenges facing these new applications and state policies that address these challenges were also discussed. 

  • Mike Rutkowski, Senior Vice President of Research Operations, GTI | Presentation
  • Jared Hawes, Director of State & Local Outreach, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers | Presentation

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019

Tour of the Gas Technology Institute (GTI)

The Gas Technology Institute is an American non-profit research and development organization which develops, demonstrates, and licenses new energy technologies for private and public clients, with a particular focus on the natural gas industry.  GTI is located in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Welcome and Introductions at GTI

Attendees hade the opportunity to meet with senior officials at the Gas Technology Institute to learn about the campus and its mission. 

Site Tour of Several GTI Facilities

Attendees toured several of GTI’s laboratories and facilities, including: 

  • The Residential/Commercial Appliance and Equipment Laboratory for the development and advancement of natural gas appliances and equipment.
  • The Food Service Technology Center, which provides equipment testing services for the foodservice industry.
  • The Combustion Laboratory for industrial steam and power technologies.
  • The Infrastructure Laboratories for research on pipeline infrastructure systems, including leak detection, corrosion resistance and coating performance.
  • The Combined Heat and Power Laboratory featuring the institute’s research and development on CHP systems.

The group returned to the hotel and the meeting adjourned.