City of Somerset Natural Gas Director Bruce Neely, left, presents Delta Natural Gas VP Jonathan Morphew with a plaque honoring Morphew’s service as president the previous year. Neely has been selected for the role for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Life-long resident of Somerset Bruce Neely, who has long served as the City of Somerset Natural Gas Director, has been chosen by the Kentucky Gas Association board of directors to lead the organization as president for their upcoming fiscal year.

“KGA has a long-standing history of serving as the collaborative voice of the natural gas industry in the Commonwealth, and I am honored to be selected to serve as its president,” Neely said. “I look forward to working with our board of directors to continue this mission while also serving our members by partnering in promotional efforts and providing resources for industry-specific training.”

The Kentucky Gas Association (KGA) serves as to promote the natural gas industry and provide information to people in the industry on technology, safety, and practices to ensure Kentucky’s reliance on natural gas is able to continue.

“They serve as a resource. They hold meetings—training for its members,” Neely said. He told of how KGA provides presentations for people to understand the advancements being made in natural gas.

“They have vendors that attend meetings, so [Kentucky] Gas Association Members can see the latest technology, equipment, and gas leak detection.”

Neely is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and has received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Though he didn’t graduate until 1991, he’s had hands-on work in energy and transportation since his service to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in 1988.

Improved safety standards and development in gas leak detection are invaluable to the Natural Gas Industry. Last year, Reuters reported that over the last decade “over 2,600 hazardous gas pipeline leaks in the United States caused more than $4 billion in damages and emergency services, killed 122 people, and released 26.6 billion cubic feet of fuel as methane or carbon dioxide.”

“A lot of the meetings [we] have talk about regulations,” Neely continued. “The [Kentucky] Public Service commission attends a lot of these meetings as well, so it’s pretty helpful. They usually hold a presentation to keep everyone abreast of what’s happening.”

“It’s a good association. It serves a pretty good purpose to help keep folks up-to-date with all that.”

KGA holds these meetings every 2 months, and Neely told of the challenges the natural gas industry faces.

“Fortunately up until this point, it’s been a good utility for the city,” said Neely. “It’s provided a pretty valuable source of heat for the community. It’s pretty economical. Although, this year energy [prices] have been on the rise at the gas pump, and that’s affected the world of natural gas.”

He said natural gas prices have started to soften as gasoline prices have continued to fall, but noted this would not happen immediately and the heat wave that’s taken hold this summer will continue to cause demand for storage for natural gas and may cause more inflation in the future.

Neely, however, remains optimistic of the future and hopes his presidency in KGA can help with that.

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