On October 24, 2013, Blank Rome LLP, with Hull and Associates, hosted the first of two programs entitled “Environmental Issues Affecting Midstream and Downstream Oil & Gas Development” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) Chairman Rob Powelson gave the group some tremendous insights into the future of Pennsylvania’s shale gas energy renaissance. He projected that midstream oil and gas development in Pennsylvania will create 1.6 million jobs by 2035. He also stated the PUC’s and the Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) commitment to keeping that development safe and environmentally protective.
The event brought together professionals from major industry, legal, and government sectors to hear and participate in robust and informative discussions of key issues relating to the increase in midstream and downstream development that is occurring as a result of the United States’ shale oil and gas boom. Both Chairman Powelson and former DEP Secretary Mike Krancer stressed the fact that the Greater Philadelphia area is fast becoming a dominant energy hub due to its key location in and near demand centers; transportation infrastructure, including its world-class port; a talented and experienced skilled workforce and professionals; and educational institutions, such as Drexel University, which has an internationally renowned engineering school that will not only partner with the industry on a technical level, but will also feed much needed technically trained young people into the workforce.
In addition to Chairman Powelson, other featured speakers at this program included:
- Michael L. Krancer, former DEP Secretary and Partner at Blank Rome LLP, who spoke on the opportunities provided by further midstream and downstream development as well as regulatory and enforcement trends to watch;
- Stephanie Catarino-Wissman, Executive Director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, who provided an overview of current state initiatives and regulations as well as a prognosis of the future of energy development and what it means for Pennsylvania and our nation;
- Chris Tucker, Managing Director of FTI Consulting, who discussed how to build a communications strategy to properly manage a crisis;
- James Balaschak, Principal at Deloitte Services LP, whose presentation provided great insight into why midstream development is the fastest growing oil and gas subsector in the United States, as well as a dramatic look forward into its future development;
- Margaret A. Hill, Partner at Blank Rome LLP, who spoke on litigation trends impacting midstream and downstream development; and
- Craig A. Kasper, Chief Executive Officer of Hull and Associates, who discussed burgeoning midstream development in the Utica Shale and provided a perspective on the industry’s role in ensuring successful midstream and downstream development.
This event was of such significance that it was attended and covered by the media. The Scranton Times Tribune ran a story on the event, headlined “Pipeline industry draws attention as gas production surges,” and provided key highlights, speaker insights, and trending industry topics discussed at the forum. The article promotes that the surge in Marcellus Shale production and the booming energy industry growth in the United States are drawing both worldwide and domestic attention. To read the full article online, please click here.
The second and final Blank Rome/Hull midstream forum for this year will be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 21, 2013. We are lucky to have Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo as our keynote speaker. The Harrisburg forum will be held at the Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. For more information and to register for the November 21, 2013 program, please click here.
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