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Industry continues natural gas advocacy as Chesapeake steps back

The natural gas industry is still working to promote its product, even though one-time flag bearer Chesapeake Energy Corp. has taken a step back to focus on its business.
By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer Modified: June 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: June 26, 2014

Chesapeake Energy Corp. used to bill itself as “America’s Champion of Natural Gas,” but it has rededicated itself to its core business as an oil and natural gas producer.

CEO Doug Lawler said Chesapeake still believes in initiatives that boost natural gas use, but the company cannot be alone at the forefront of those efforts like it used to be.

Lawler and Chesapeake Chairman Archie Dunham were asked at this month’s annual shareholders’ meeting about advocacy programs launched by former CEO Aubrey McClendon, including an ambitious plan to invest $1 billion in developing alternative fuel technology.

Dunham said Chesapeake fueled such ventures alone in the past, but now it is time for the industry as a whole to pull together.

Groups like America’s Natural Gas Alliance are ready to do just that, CEO Marty Durbin said Thursday.

Durbin said the alliance, which represents North America’s leading independent natural gas producers, is focused on promoting demand and use of natural gas.

Spreading the word

ANGA’s efforts are organized around market development in four areas: power generation, industrial and manufacturing, transportation and liquefied natural gas exports.

Durbin said a large part of ANGA’s focus is getting people to realize natural gas is no longer a scarce commodity.

“We can have our gas and export it too,” he said.

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