America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) said last week that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. CEO Jim Hackett has been selected as the organization’s new chairman to be a “vocal champion” of domestic natural gas going forward.

“The abundance and affordability of natural gas is changing our nation’s energy future,” said Hackett. “As a country, we need to fully utilize this clean-burning, abundant, domestic resource that has the potential to create jobs throughout North America, enhance energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and advance a cleaner, lower-carbon energy future in our communities.”

ANGA was formed in February 2009 with a “singular mission” to increase the public’s “awareness and appreciation” of the abundant domestic natural gas supplies (see NGI, March 2, 2009). Some industry veterans point out that the creation of ANGA marked the passing of the gas publicity torch from distributors to producers.

ANGA was created because of the “recognition that producers have to be in the business of promoting natural gas and of aggressively representing the natural gas business in Washington and out across the country,” Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica, the natural gas vehicle coalition, told NGI. “Historically producers and pipelines had no role in marketing natural gas to the public. Distributors created the market for natural gas.”

But because of regulatory and market changes “distributors are no longer aggressively marketing natural gas. Residential and commercial markets are relatively flat,” so producers are stepping into the marketing role. “And where can they have the biggest impact on natural gas use?” Kolodziej rhetorically asked, answering, “powergen [power generation] and vehicles.”

ANGA CEO Regina Hopper said Hackett is one of the “most respected CEOs” in this industry and is “a vocal champion of all that this new age of natural gas abundance can mean for our nation — from creating jobs to reducing emissions in communities across our country.”

Hackett, who has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry, succeeds David Trice, ANGA’s founding chairman, who recently retired as president and CEO of Newfield Exploration Co. and now serves as the company’s nonexecutive chairman.

Before joining Anadarko, Hackett served as president and COO of Devon Energy Corp. He also has held leadership positions with Duke Energy, PanEnergy, NGC Corp., Burlington Resources and Amoco Oil Co.

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