Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael Whatley testified before the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission that state officials and regulators should be commended on developing proposed oil and gas regulations that will provide “a sensible regulatory regime to oversee production of its energy resources.”

Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance Before the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission
August 20, 2014
Raleigh, North Carolina

Good Morning.

My name is Michael Whatley. I am the Executive Vice President for Consumer Energy Alliance and oversee the operations of our Southeastern chapter, which includes North Carolina.  I grew up in Blowing Rock and drove to Raleigh this morning from my family’s cabin outside Shelby to speak today.

CEA is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association made up of more than 250 affiliates from every sector of the U.S economy and more than 400,000 individual members nationwide dedicated to developing a balanced national energy policy that will ensure adequate and affordable energy for American Energy Consumers. Our membership includes the North Carolina Farm Bureau, the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Nucor Corporation, Piedmont Natural Gas and more than 22,000 individuals from North Carolina.

CEA strongly supports the responsible development of U.S. shale resources and applauds the efforts of North Carolina to move forward with a sensible regulatory regime to oversee production of its energy resources.

The recent expansion of domestic energy development has provided American energy consumers with more affordable and more accessible energy supplies that have provided a much-needed economic boost to communities across the country. This domestic energy boom has spurred the return of manufacturing to the United States with low-cost natural gas and driven overseas crude imports to their lowest levels in 15 years – moderating gasoline prices in the face of significant unrest in the Middle East and around the world. A recent report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that North Carolina manufacturers are some of the primary beneficiaries of this shale development. Energy-intensive manufacturers in Greensboro, Raleigh and other metro areas from Wilmington to Asheville have added jobs and expanded operations due to increased access to low cost natural gas.

CEA supports strong state oversight of energy production which ensures that production moves forward in an environmentally sound way.  We understand and share public concerns regarding shale development and believe that all drilling, water management and technological practices employed by industry should be as transparent as possible. We are all reliant on clean and available supplies of water – and can all agree that the production of oil and natural gas should be well-regulated and held to high standards.

North Carolina officials and regulators have invested significant time and effort to engage with both the public and technical experts, as well as worked with other states to determine the best manner of updating existing regulations to cover hydraulic fracturing.  CEA is confident that these proposed regulations will allow state regulators to protect the environment and oversee energy production that will provide significant benefits for North Carolina families, farms and businesses.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak today and applaud the Commission for moving forward to allow responsible energy production in North Carolina.

Thank you.