Producers of natural gas may be struggling with low prices, but for pipeline operators like Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI), the outlook is anything but bearish.

The Houston-based midstreamer, which transports about 40% of the natural gas consumed in the United States, kicked off the first quarter earnings season with stellar results and a positive message for proponents of the fuel.

Executive Chairman Richard Kinder opened the earnings conference call Thursday by discussing the outlook for gas-fired electricity consumption to power artificial intelligence (AI) and data centers, a burgeoning demand segment that is dominating conversation in the gas industry.

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