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Washington, D.C. — Today, Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced that the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a series of three forums on natural gas issues over seven days in May. The series builds on a full-committee hearing in February that looked broadly at opportunities and challenges for natural gas.

The forums will be open to the public and will include input from members and a variety of stakeholders. They will be held in a roundtable format to encourage discussion and allow flexibility to find areas of agreement. The Energy Committee and others have used this format in the past on issues such as healthcare, tax reform and even natural gas, in 2005.

“Natural gas has the potential to be a great American success story,” Wyden said. “Congress needs to be sure U.S. policies are up to the task of maximizing the economic benefits of this resource, and doing it in an environmentally responsible way.”

Senator Murkowski: “Thanks to advances in drilling technology, natural gas is an abundant, affordable and clean source of energy that offers great opportunities for economic growth and energy security. We need to be careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg, though. Heavy-handed government regulation could easily disrupt the efficient workings of the market.”

The full schedule is below.

 

May 14: “Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation”: What are the next applications for natural gas and how this new demand will be met? Pipeline infrastructure and increased use of natural gas in the transportation sector will be specific points of interest.

May 21: “Domestic Supply and Exports”: This forum will examine estimates of domestic supply and the potential benefits or unintended consequences caused by expansion of natural gas exports.

May 23: “Shale Development: Best Practices and Environmental Concerns”: The final forum will focus on the extraction of gas from shale. Particular topics of interest will be current best practices within the industry and environmental concerns to be addressed.

 

Witnesses will be announced when available.