Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Q&A with MSC President David Spigelmyer

David J. Spigelmyer, commander-in-chief of the region’s largest shale development trade association, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was also a key figure in the Robinson organization’s development in 2008.

Before being named president last year, Mr. Spigelmyer was chairman, vice chairman and the leader of the coalition’s legislative committee. He also served as vice president of Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s Appalachia division.

Q: You’ve been in your position for a better part of a year now. Is it what you were expecting?

A. It’s better than I could have imagined. I knew what would be expected of me, having helped found the Marcellus Shale Coalition and having served as the organization’s chairman. But to have the opportunity to see the positive growth all around us is beyond my expectations. It’s a great honor to serve in this role and I deeply appreciate our members’ support.

Q: What do you do when you’re not working?

A. I’ve been passionate about the outdoors since I was a boy growing up in Clearfield County, and I spend as much time on the water and in the woods as I can. Like our entire industry, I care deeply about our environment and am very proud that shale development is improving air quality and enhancing the land around us.

When I’m not in the office or on the road, you’re most likely to find me with a fly-fishing rod in my hand. Contrary to what some may suggest, our industry cares deeply about doing this right — safely and with a focus on conducting operations in an environmentally conscious manner.

Q: What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you when you’ve been out advocating?

A. I think I speak on behalf of the more than 3,500 folks from across the Commonwealth who participated in the recent and historic “Pennsylvania Jobs, Pennsylvania Energy” rally in Harrisburg when I say that it was an event that will never be forgotten.

According to poll after poll, Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support responsible shale development. And the recent rally further demonstrated this broad support — from local labor unions, economic development organizations, farmers, local business owners, conservationists and mineral owners — all over our Commonwealth, giving a diverse set of advocates a platform to speak with a unified voice about the economic and national security benefits tied to safe shale development, as well as our industry’s commitment to operational excellence and environmental protection.

Q: How much money do you spend on gas a month driving around the state to events? Do you use natural gas?

A. The benefit of meeting folks in every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties whose lives are improving because of shale development far outweighs the price at the pump. And I am anxious to drive a CNG-fueled vehicle, as I have done in the past, to fuel up for about half of what we pay today for gasoline.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition is working to help promote this critical infrastructure so that every citizen can enjoy the benefits of a locally produced, clean-burning and affordable alternative at the pump.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A. I’ve been fortunate to serve on the board of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, where the organization’s president and CEO, Rawland Cogan, has always fought for common sense conservation efforts. The organization’s mission is simple: To conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s elk country for future generations.

My daily work, and that of the Marcellus Shale Coalition as well as our member companies, is likewise focused on continuing to get this generational opportunity right — now and for years to come.

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