A House caucus that will focus solely on domestic natural gas issues is scheduled to be formally launched Wednesday, according to a spokesman for one of the co-chairs.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), whose district includes part of the emerging Marcellus Shale play, and Democratic Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, a long-time gas producing state, created the caucus after realizing that natural gas was virtually absent from the House climate change bill (see Daily GPI, June 29).

The two lawmakers, who will co-chair the caucus, have recruited about 40 members so far, said a spokesman for Murphy (see Daily GPI, Oct. 5).

Murphy and Boren plan to launch the caucus with a hearing Wednesday exploring the “State of U.S. Natural Gas Today” — specifically how it can be used more and its job-creation potential.

Testifying at the hearing will be T. Boone Pickens, founder/chairman of BP-Capital Management; Ray Walker, vice president of Marcellus Shale Development for Range Resources; Bruce H. Vincent, president of Swift Energy Co.; Ronald W. Jibson, CEO of Questar Gas; state Rep. Chris Benge of Oklahoma; and Dr. Robert Watson, a professor at Pennsylvania State University.

The caucus will seek to educate, promote awareness of and develop policy in Congress on the importance of natural gas in the nation’s energy portfolio, the lawmakers said.

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