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Forum Focuses on Energy Issues

Published: May 9, 2017 12:58 PM

The importance of energy production and infrastructure to the Ohio Valley was the main focus at a discussion about energy issues, manufacturing and workforce development at Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) 2017 Ohio Valley Energy and Manufacturing Forum, in Marietta.

The event is the first in a series of energy and manufacturing events this year that have brought together public officials, business and labor leaders and stakeholders to share their perspectives on energy policy in the context of jobs, the economy and U.S. competitiveness and their visions for the future of the Ohio Valley.

Speakers at the Ohio Valley forum included:

  • Jonathan Hupp, Safety-Service Director, Marietta
  • Andy Thompson, State Representative
  • Frank Hoagland, Ohio State Senator
  • Jay Edwards, Ohio State Representative
  • Brittany Thomas Ramos, External Affairs, Cabot Oil and Gas
  • Mike Archer, President & CEO, Pioneer Group/Pioneer Pipe
  • Karen L. Facemyer, President, Polymer Alliance Zone
  • Jeff Dimick, Executive Vice President, Ohio Valley University
  • Rob Dorans, Legal Counsel, ACT Ohio
  • Bill Hutchinson, Business Manager, Parkersburg-Marietta Building Trades Council
  • Troy Ferrell, Business Manager, IBEW Local #972
  • Chris Ventura, Midwest Director, CEA

Chris Ventura, Midwest Director of CEA, stressed the importance of energy production and infrastructure to the region and the benefits they provide to families and small businesses across the Ohio Valley.

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“We thank everyone who took the time to participate and hope we can keep these topics at the forefront of the discussion throughout the region,” Ventura said. “Now, more than ever before, energy issues are critical to our region’s future, and we look forward to working together to increase access to more affordable, reliable energy across the Ohio Valley and the U.S. to help lower energy costs for our communities and small businesses and to provide more opportunity for manufacturers and businesses.”

In regards to the importance of energy production and infrastructure, as well as opportunities for progress in the Ohio Valley, Ohio State Representative Jay Edwards stated that energy is the best hope for the region.

“Today’s event was a great way to pull together many interests to the table to talk about facts. Cheap energy and natural gas in the Ohio Valley is our biggest hope for good-paying jobs in the area,” said Edwards.

Building on the discussion about jobs, Archer recognized how Pioneer’s employment has doubled from the start of the shale boom to now.

“We were happy to share our company’s story at the forum today, the development of the energy resources in this region has truly been a ‘game changer’ for Pioneer. We provide construction and fabrication services to the midstream and downstream companies involved with this development, and this has resulted in good paying jobs for our employees who make their home in the Ohio Valley,” said Archer.

“Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have already felt a tremendous economic benefit from the Marcellus and Utica shale development. But what we have seen so far is really just the beginning of the potential benefits and growth,” said Ramos. “Today’s event brought together a diverse group of businesses, labor leaders, elected officials and community leaders as they chart a path forward for the region. We know the abundant resources are here and the continued coordinated effort among these groups will position the Ohio Valley to tap into that potential for its businesses, communities and for its future.”

Tuesday’s forum, Dorans said, was a great place for this discussion.

“The energy sector is multifaceted, thus its often difficult to cover all viewpoints on this important issue. The Forum today did just that, as it brought together key leaders from government, industry, and labor to share our prospective on the issues facing the energy future of Southeastern Ohio and Western West Virginia,” said Dorans. “Events like today’s forum provide the Building Trades an opportunity to better explain how our skilled local workforce can be a vital asset in the region’s economic development future.”

About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s energy future. With more than 450,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the country. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all of us to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop our diverse energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.

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