Early in August, we had the honor of hosting a visit to northeast Pennsylvania by Mike Sommers, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API). As we guided him to many sites and gas-related events, Mike shared his vision for the future of the petroleum and natural gas industries. He recognized the tremendous impact that our region is making on the energy landscape.
After a day of touring gas pads in various stages of production, Mike attended an evening energy rally and barbecue. “The best part of my job today was seeing oil and gas workers taking such pride in their work. It’s the stories of the people working in the industry that make the difference,” he told rally guests.
Since 2018, Mike has been leading the way in developing energy policies that balance the calls of conservationists to abandon fossil fuels altogether. He sees that the efforts of Cabot and others to safely produce natural gas are already ahead of DEP standards.
“You are the leading environmental industry in the world,” he stated at the energy rally. “Emissions today are at the lowest levels that they have been in generations because of the natural gas industry in PA.”
Mike is responsible for the strategic realignment of API’s priority and advocacy efforts. We’re all pretty excited and eager to see where that’s going to go. We believe that he is going to set the tone for the next decade.
“No other country in the world can claim to be energy dependent,” Mike stated. “It’s a national security advantage, and we don’t want that to go away.”
During Mike’s visit, we took him to the new Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas (PNG) in Tunkhannock. He and his team got a private tour before they moved on to Invenergy’s natural gas electric generation facility in Jessup.
Mike recognized the PNG school as a state-of-the-art center for training American energy workers for the future – the only school of its kind east of the Mississippi River. “As our industry prepares the next generation of energy problem solvers, this vocational school increases awareness of – and access to – good-paying careers in the U.S. gas and oil sector,” he stated.
What Mike Sommers brings to the table is a brand new voice and enthusiasm for the oil and gas industry. Their team really got their boots dirty traveling all over Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.
People think there are no jobs here, but Mike saw first-hand that the northeast Marcellus play is still thriving.