Governors from across the United States are expected to convenein Columbus, OH, Sept. 20 at a summit to discuss the high naturalgas prices and supply challenges facing consumers this winter. Themeeting will also address long-term state and federal gas policy,such as human resource needs in the domestic petroleum industry,tax incentives and access to public lands for gas drilling.

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, chairman of theOklahoma-based Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), willco-host the “Governors’ Natural Gas Summit: Responding to the LoomingEnergy Crisis” in the hopes that the discussions will have an impacton U.S. energy policy involving natural gas. The announcement of thesummit comes just a week after the IOGCC began its push for anofficial national energy policy, offering their own four-prongapproach (see Daily GPI, Aug. 11).

Knowles noted, “The wholesale price of natural gas has doubledsince April, and tripled since last summer, and all signs point toan extremely tight natural gas market this winter.” Knowles saidthe tight supply “poses a major challenge for U.S. consumers andour national economy, which can be addressed by boosting domesticsupply. The Governors’ Natural Gas Summit will draw attention tothe current supply, demand and price for natural gas, and initiatea discussion to help guide a rational public policy response to thecurrent high prices and looming supply shortfall.”

The summit will help governors grasp the fundamentals of the gasmarketplace in North America, and design individual state actionplans. Mid-September was chosen for the gathering because itsignifies the start of the home heating season, when attention toenergy-related issues is normally at a high.

“The increased demand for natural gas could translate to higherheating bills, creating a financial burden for our low andfixed-income residents,” Taft said.

A group of panels will present the supply and demand projectionsfor North America in the short and long-term. Panelists willinclude major gas producers, traders, distributors, storageoperators, electric utilities and local gas utilities. State andfederal representatives will also give presentations. Canadian andMexican issues will also be discussed.

Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ Chairman Dr. Daniel Yerginwill be the keynote speaker of the summit. Dr. Yergin wrote thePullitzer Prize-winning book, The Prize, about the oil industry.

Ohio was chosen for the site of the summit to maximizeparticipation among the energy-consuming states, the group said.”Natural gas is especially important to Ohio because we rank secondnationally in the number of stripper natural gas wells,” Taftadded. “These wells, producing only a small amount of natural gaseach day, are an important element of the supply chain and shouldnot be overlooked.”

The IOGCC represents the governors of 30 states with a focus onconservation and the environmentally friendly recovery of oil andnatural gas resources. Visit its web site at for more information.

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