DCA Initiates Federal Advocacy Program

July 2012, Vol. 67, No. 7

The Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) has initiated a federal advocacy program to advance the interests of the association in the halls of Congress and before federal regulatory agencies. DCA represents contractors, suppliers and manufacturers who provide distribution construction services including installation, replacement and rehabilitation of gas pipelines and fiber optic, cable and duct systems in communities across the country.

DCA’s federal advocacy program will establish an ongoing presence on Capitol Hill and in front of several administrative branch agencies. The association’s legislative agenda will initially engage in legislative efforts to expand gas distribution construction markets through existing and pending energy legislation, and regulatory actions addressing pipeline safety and initiatives to prevent underground facility damage during excavation activities.

DCA president Kevin Michels of Michels Corporation, in Brownsville, WI, says he is enthusiastic about getting his association in the Washington lobbying arena. “We hope that this will give the DCA and the entire utility construction industry a voice in Washington.” Michels said. “It is our goal to promote the use of natural gas and to get a "leg-up / heads-up" on pending regulation that comes from federal government.”

Rob Darden, executive vice president of DCA, agrees. “Natural gas production is becoming a leading topic in the national energy debate,” he said. “There are legislative efforts in the works that would facilitate the extraction and transportation of natural gas, and there are other bills that would impede efforts to make the most of these valuable resources. We have to be able to play both offense and defense in Washington. You can’t make a difference from the sidelines.”

DCA has enlisted the services of Wyman Associates, a government relations firm based in Falls Church, VA, outside of Washington, D.C. “Wyman Associates brings many years’ experience in the Washington lobbying game, and DCA is excited to jump in with both feet,” Darden said.