Header graphic for print
Focus on Regulation

Senate Energy Committee Schedules Forums on Natural Gas

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has announced it will hold a series of roundtable forums on natural gas issues in May. Each of the three forums, which follow a February Committee hearing on natural gas challenges and opportunities, will focus on specific policy issues facing the country’s growing natural gas resources.

The May 16 forum will focus on “Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation,” and will explore how producers will meet the growing demand for natural gas, the need to expand natural gas pipeline and vehicle refueling infrastructure, and the role of government in promoting the increased use of natural gas use in the transportation sector, both with respect to trucks and passenger vehicles. This will also be a good opportunity to discuss the opportunity to capture CO2 from natural gas midstream processing plants that could provide anthropogenic CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery projects.

A forum on “Domestic Supply and Exports” will follow on May 21. It will focus on current estimates of natural gas reserves and the positive and negative impacts of natural gas exports. This forum will allow producers to explain the opportunity of the increase in the supply of LPG’s as feedstock for the growing US petrochemical industry and other industries that use natural gas as a fuel if gas production can be accelerated.

The final forum, “Shale Development: Best Practices and Environmental Concerns,” will be held May 23. Witnesses will discuss the impact of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction and environmental impacts of fracking and shale gas development. The Committee will be gathering information about where to best establish procedures for regulating and understanding the environmental issues associated with shale gas development.

Rather than the typical committee hearing, the three forums are touted by Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) as roundtables, designed to allow more robust, in-depth discussion of particular issues with input from multiple witnesses and Committee Members. Witnesses have not been announced.

The forums will provide information to Chairman Wyden and Committee members that will likely lay the foundation for natural gas legislation that will likely be introduced for consideration in this Congress. If you would like more information on the forums or would like to participate in the forums, please contact a member of the Hogan Lovells Energy or Government Relations teams.