Monday, October 26, 2009

Congressional Natural Gas Caucuses Launch

[UPDATED 10/29/09]
Congressional Natural Gas Caucuses have finally been created. The House caucus, which was formed last month and the group's first meeting starred T. Boone Pickens, of the Pickens Plan fame. The group was launched by Reps. Dan Boren (OK) and Tim Murphy (PA) and its current roster of 45 members is bipartisan in makeup, mostly from states with a strong interest in natural gas. North Louisiana Rep. John Fleming is a member. Here are good articles from the Shreveport Times and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the group's first meeting. Since there are 32 states that produce gas, the natgas caucus might have a strong voice if its members are well motivated.

The Senate Natural Gas Caucus was formed by Louisiana's own Sen. Mary Landrieu and Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss this week. (Kudos to my Sen. Landrieu for leading the effort and for encouraging bipartisan participation.)

The formation of Congressional caucuses is an important step in having a voice in Washington (or at least having someone to listen to you). It is especially vital because there has been an active Coal Caucus for years. I've noted the lobbyist's mantra before and it's never more true than it is today: "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu." Welcome to the table natural gas. Now let's see if you can get the waiter's attention.

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