WV State Journal: PA industrial leaders head to D.C. to promote Marcellus drilling

A Pennsylvania-based industry representation group flew to Washington, D.C., to speak with members of Congress, environmental regulators, representatives from the executive branch and national industry organizations on issues affecting Marcellus shale development.

“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, D.C. — 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.”

According to a release from the organization, members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition shared work force and employment training related information with the Department of Labor; explored site reclamation and development processes with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus; and heard 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. They also discussed with the Environmental Protection Agency and representatives from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Domestic Policy Council the broad environmental benefits of natural gas and precautions taken by the industry to ensure this development is done safely.

The coalition also hosted a bi-partisan, multi-state legislative breakfast to hear from members of Congress across the Marcellus region and 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 MSC’s work force 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.

According to the release from the MSC, seven out of every 10 new hires by MSC companies are Pennsylvania residents. The survey also concluded that 13 percent of new hires from MSC member companies are Ohio residents, with 12 percent residing in West Virginia.

“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,” Klaber said. “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.”

NOTE: Click HERE to view this story online.