Wyden, Murkowski Announce Diverse Group of Witnesses to Appear at Natural Gas Forums

May 9, 2013

Washington, D.C. – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today announced a diverse group of natural gas producers, distributors, utilities, environmental groups, regulators, consumers and exporters who will share their perspectives on natural gas issues at a series of forums beginning next week. 

The committee is holding three public listening sessions over the next two weeks to gather information from stakeholders with an interest in ensuring federal policy evolves to take into account the new supplies of natural gas that have become accessible in recent years. The sessions will be held in a roundtable format to encourage open discussion and allow flexibility to find areas of agreement.

Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have pledged to approach the forums without a predetermined outcome or legislation in mind other than to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of the nation’s natural gas reserves. The series builds on a hearing looking at opportunities and challenges for natural gas that the committee held in February.

“You don’t often see representatives from natural gas drilling companies and chemical producers and conservation groups sit down at the same table in a public forum, but that’s exactly what we’re doing with these round tables,” Wyden said. “If we do this right, natural gas has the potential to lift up our country’s economy and pave the way to a future that has both more jobs and a cleaner environment with a smaller carbon footprint. Senator Murkowski and I want to hear from the people who deal with these issues every day about where there might be common ground on how to maximize the value of this vital resource.”

“Technological advances have allowed us to access vast quantities of natural gas not thought possible just a few years ago. This new energy source is a game changer for the United States, providing an abundant, affordable and clean source of energy to fuel our economy,” Murkowski said. “My interest in holding these roundtables is to ensure that the federal government is supporting, and not thwarting, responsible development of this resource, its transport to market and consumers for power generation and home heating, and its use in the manufacturing and transportation industries, as well as exports to our friends and allies. I look forward to hearing from all of these stakeholders about what’s working, what’s not, and what we can do better.”

A list of witnesses is below, and additional witnesses may be added.

May 14:  Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – representative to be announced
  • CenterPoint Energy – Scott Prochazka, Executive Vice President/Chief  Operating Officer
  • Cummins Westport Inc. – Jim Arthurs, President
  • Drive Natural Gas Initiative – Dr. Kathryn Clay, Executive Director
  • Freightliner Trucks – Robert Carrick, Sales Manager for Natural Gas
  • Gas Processors Association – Richard Cargile, President of Midstream Energy Transfer Partners/Vice President of GPA
  • General Electric Company – Steve Bolze, President/CEO, GE Power & Water
  • ISO New England – Gordon van Welie, President/CEO
  • Interstate Natural Gas Association of America – Donald Santa, Jr., President
  • National Association of Convenience Stores – John Eichberger, Vice President of Government Relations
  • Northwest Natural – Gregg Kantor, President/CEO
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company – Jesus Soto, Jr., Senior Vice President of Gas Transmission Operations
  • UPS – Jim Bruce, Vice President of Corporate Public Affairs

May 21:  Domestic Supply and Exports

  • Department of Energy – representative to be announced
  • Energy Information Administration – Adam Sieminski, Administrator
  • American Chemistry Council – Cal Dooley, President/CEO
  • Cheniere Energy, Inc.– Pat Outtrim, Vice President of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs
  • Charles Ebinger – Director of Foreign Policy, Energy Security Initiative
  • Energy Policy Forum – Deborah Rogers, Founder
  • Huntsman Corporation – Peter Huntsman, CEO
  • ICF International – Harry Vidas, Vice President
  • Industrial Energy Consumers Association – Paul Cicio, President
  • The Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council– John Mohlis, Executive Secretary
  • Sempra Energy – Octavio Simoes, Senior Vice President of Sempra International/President of Sempra LNG

May 23:  Shale Development – Environmental Protection and Best Practices

  • Bureau of Land Management – representative to be announced
  • Anadarko – Clay Bretches, Vice President of Marketing and Minerals
  • Baker Hughes – Alan Crain, Senior Vice President/Chief Legal and Governance Officer
  • Environmental Defense Fund – Mark Brownstein, Associate Vice President & Chief Counsel, US Climate and Energy Program
  • EQT Corporation – David Porges, Chairman/President/CEO
  • Halliburton – Marc Edwards, Senior Vice President of Completion and Production
  • Natural Resources Defense Council – Amy Mall, Senior Policy Analyst, Land and Wildlife Program
  • Noble Energy, Inc. – Charles Davidson, Chairman/CEO
  • Sierra Club – Deb Nardone, Director, Beyond Natural Gas Campaign
  • West Virginia Environmental Council – Don Garvin, Legislative Coordinator, and member, Board of Directors for STRONGER (State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations), Inc.
  • Texas Railroad Commission – Barry Smitherman, Chairman
  • XTO Energy Inc. – Jack Williams, President