Representatives from PESA-member companies — Baker Hughes, Cameron (a Schlumberger company), Caterpillar Oil and Gas, Cummins, DistributionNOW, FairfieldNodal, Forged Products, Halliburton, Hoover Ferguson, Industrial Tax Consulting, Li Gear, M&M International, Premier Pipe, Schlumberger, SOR Inc., Stallion Oilfield Services, TechnipFMC and Weir Oil and Gas — met with Congressional members and staff during the PESA Washington, D.C. Fly-In held February 26–28.
As the new administration and Congress begin to move forward with their agenda, the oil and natural gas industry is experiencing a sense of optimism. The Fly-In provided an opportunity for PESA and attending member companies to convey the importance of implementing policies that ensure a secure supply of abundant, affordable and reliable energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.
Attendees developed and strengthened relationships with the offices of more than 20 Congress members, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), House Majority Whip
Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), as well as House and Senate staffers.
The 26 Fly-In attendees divided into five groups to meet with Congressional offices, creating an opportunity to discuss detailed contributions to job creation and innovation as well as potential negative impacts and unintended consequences that regulations may have on his or her own business.
In between Congressional meetings, Fly-In attendees had lunch with David Bernhardt of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Bernhardt serves as an advisor to the Trump transition team for issues associated with the Department of the Interior (DOI). Bernhardt shared his insights on the process of bringing in a new leadership team at the DOI and other departments and agencies.
The program included presentations and discussions with representatives from a policy institution and D.C.-based leadership of multiple exploration and production companies. These discussions began on Monday morning with a presentation by Adam Sieminski from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Sieminski discussed the current geopolitical energy landscape and the implications for the industry in the future.
Participants also heard from an operator panel of D.C.-based representatives including Mary Streett, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs at BP; Bill Koetzle, Manager of Federal Government Affairs at Chevron; and John Dabbar, Vice President of Federal and State Government Affairs at ConocoPhillips. During the discussion, topics included specific regulations and legislation of importance, as well as the overall policy and political landscape in Washington regarding the oil and natural gas industry.
On Monday afternoon, all attendees met with top energy policy staffers from the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R- Wisconsin). In these meetings, staffers shared their views on the near-term outlook for key legislative initiatives including the overhaul of the Affordable Care Act and tax reform.
While at the Capitol, PESA attendees crossed paths with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was in town for the National Governors Association meeting. Gov. Abbott was pleased to learn PESA was engaging with members of Congress on the importance of the oil and natural gas industry and the commitment of the service and supply sector to innovation, safety and job creation.
Monday closed with a reception and dinner in the Capitol building, where Congressional offices, state officials and industry representatives networked and discussed policy priorities for 2017 and beyond.
While the outlook for the energy industry is positive, there is still plenty of uncertainty on many policy issues as well as continued challenges from the anti-fossil fuel movement. It is paramount that PESA and member companies continue to educate policymakers about the sector, our shared commitment to innovation, safety and job creation, and the importance of oil and natural gas to society.
For more information about PESA, visit pesa.org.
Photos courtesy of PESA