Representatives from PESA member companies – ASRC Energy Services, AUGE Industrial, Baker Hughes, a GE company, Caterpillar Oil & Gas, DistributionNOW, Duff & Phelps, FairfieldNodal, Forged Products, Frank’s International, Gardner Denver Energy Group, Halliburton, Industrial Tax Consulting, Li Gear, LoneStar Group, National Oilwell Varco, OFS Portal, Schlumberger, Stallion Oilfield Services, Sunbelt Steel, TechnipFMC, Vallourec USA, and Weatherford International – met with members of Congress and the Trump Administration during the PESA Washington, D.C. Fly-In held February 12-13.
As the Trump Administration and Congress move forward with their ambitious 2018 agenda, the Fly-In provided an opportunity for PESA and attending member companies to convey the importance of implementing policies that ensure the U.S. a secure supply of abundant, affordable and reliable energy in an environmentally responsible manner. Key issues raised during meetings with policymakers were NAFTA modernization, offshore access and regulatory reform.
Attendees developed and strengthened relationships with nearly 30 Congressional offices, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KA), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and other members of the U.S Congress, as well as House and Senate staffers.
Fly-In participants emphasized the important role of oil and natural gas in modern life, while also highlighting the service and supply sector’s commitment to innovation, safety and job creation in our diverse manufacturing and engineering workforce. Meetings were also held with lawmakers representing areas outside the oil patch, enforcing a message of the entire energy value chain.
The Fly-In program began Monday with a briefing over lunch with Karen Knutson, Global Government Affairs & Policy Leader, Baker Hughes, a GE company. Karen shared her perspective on the legislative and regulatory priorities and challenges for the coming year.
Sarah Ladislaw, Director of Energy & National Security Programs, Center for Strategic and International Studies, hosted a roundtable forum at the think tank’s conference center. Ladislaw discussed the current geopolitical energy landscape and implications for the industry in the future. In recognizing the strength and importance of the U.S. oil and gas industry, Ladislaw pointed-out that the Trump Administration has reoriented its rhetoric from one of energy independence to one of energy dominance. It marks a change in our energy outlook from “getting by” to “getting ahead.”
The U.S. Department of State hosted a reception in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the PESA Foreign Service Officer Industry Training Program. In recognition of the program’s value to industry and government, Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk (and FSO training alumnus) presented Leslie Beyer, PESA President, and Molly Determan, PESA VP Communications and Member Relations, with Certificates of Appreciation for their dedication and service to the hallmark program.
Monday closed with a joint PESA/NOIA reception at the City Club to honor Bob Moran’s contributions to PESA, the National Ocean Industries Association, and the broader oil and gas industry.
On Tuesday morning, attendees met with top energy policy staffers from the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R- WI). In these meetings, staffers shared their views on the near-term outlook for the legislative agenda. The key issue of discussion was the new five-year proposed leasing plan released by the U.S. Department of the Interior in January.
The attendees divided into five groups to meet with Congressional offices. This small group structure provided each attendee the 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.
The PESA delegation also had the opportunity to engage with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land & Mineral Management Kate MacGregor on offshore access, the well control rule, and methane venting and flaring regulations. PESA members advocated support for increased access to onshore and offshore resources. Given the long-term outlook for increased energy demand, the U.S will need to make the best possible use of all its resources to ensure energy security and economic growth.
While the outlook for the oil and natural gas industry is positive, there is still plenty of uncertainty surrounding several major policy issues including steel and aluminum tariffs, and NAFTA negotiations. It is paramount that PESA and its 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.