MSC Goes to Washington

Coalition members meet legislators, regulators and executive branch representatives on wide-range of issues

Canonsburg, PA – Last week, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) hosted its inaugural Washington, DC “fly-in” – providing coalition members with an opportunity to interact directly with Members of Congress, environmental regulators, representatives from the executive branch, and national industry organizations on a host of issues related to responsible natural gas development across the Marcellus region.

Coalition members and committee leadership had an opportunity to share workforce- and employment training-related information with the Department of Labor; explore site reclamation and development processes with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus; hear from Karen Harbert, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, on her organization’s efforts to promote natural gas as a key driver of energy security; and discuss the broad environmental benefits of natural gas and precautions taken by the industry to ensure this development is done safely with the Environmental Protection Agency and representatives from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Domestic Policy Council.

“Meeting with legislators, regulators and other key decision makers is critical to the long-term success of responsible natural gas development,” said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “As outlined in our Guiding Principles, we are committed to operational transparency, sound environmental stewardship, and working with all stakeholders – including our industry partners and policymakers in Washington, DC – to see that the Marcellus and Utica shale formations are developed in a responsible and sustainable manner. This fly-in by our growing and vibrant membership is a testament to our commitment to getting this historic opportunity right for the region and nation.”

As part of the MSC’s Washington fly-in, the coalition hosted a bi-partisan, multi-state legislative breakfast to hear first-hand from Members of Congress across the Marcellus region, while also providing MSC members an opportunity to ask policy-related questions of their elected representatives. Participating in this forum were U.S. Representatives Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.). The forum was moderated by MSC Chair Dave Spigelmyer and MSC Vice-Chair Rob Broen. (Note: click HERE for photos from the forum)

The MSC’s workforce committee also met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor to discuss workforce trends identified by a recent internal survey of MSC members. While equipment operators and technicians are still in demand, those with four-year degrees focused on engineering and the sciences are the most sought after and in-demand skill-sets, according to this survey. Importantly, and consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry statistics, seven out of every ten new hires by MSC companies are Pennsylvania residents. The survey also concluded that thirteen percent of new hires from MSC member companies are Ohio residents, with twelve percent residing in West Virginia.

Concluded Klaber, “Exchanging information and hearing the perspectives of our elected representatives and key regulators further allows the MSC and our members to be more responsive to communities across the Marcellus region. We look forward to continuing this dialogue with both the Administration and our regional congressional delegation to continue the responsible development of natural gas in an open, transparent and environmentally sound manner.”

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