Shale Coalition Picks New Leader

11/2/2013 7:00 AM

H ARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Marcellus Shale Coalition picked its second president to represent the group of companies that are active in Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry.

David Spigelmyer, a former Chesapeake Energy executive and Marcellus Shale Coalition chairman, was tapped by the executive board of the approximately 300-member coalition, the group said last week.

The coalition formed in 2008 as interest began spreading in the Marcellus Shale, which lies deep underneath parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York and is thought by geologists to be the nation’s largest-known natural gas reservoir. The group includes Chevron, Shell and Range Resources.

Kathryn Klaber, Spigelmyer’s predecessor, worked her last day at the coalition on Oct. 18. She had announced over the summer that she was leaving her position.

Spigelmyer, 53, arrives after natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale has changed the face of energy in Pennsylvania, if not the United States, but at a time when the industry still faces challenges.

The coalition is aggressively criticizing Democratic gubernatorial candidates who are proposing to raise taxes on the industry. The state’s high court also is considering a challenge to an industry-favored law that limits the ability of municipalities to control drilling activity.

Also, drilling is shut down in an area of northeastern Pennsylvania where water is regulated by the Delaware River Basin Commission.

Spigelmyer said he will not shy away from taking on top public officials, such as gubernatorial candidates, over their stance on natural gas.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my members be successful and invest capital in Pennsylvania,” Spigelmyer said.

When the group formed five years ago, Pennsylvania produced 198 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to government estimates.

Bentek, a Colorado company that analyzes energy trends, estimated recently that Pennsylvania’s production from the Marcellus Shale was on track to hit 3.2 trillion cubic feet this year.

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