Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday concluded his year-long chairmanship of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and reflected on the accomplishments of the IOGCC over the last 12 months.
The IOGCC is a multi-state agency that advocates for environmentally-sound methods of increasing the supply of American energy. The goal of the IOGCC is to keep oil and gas regulation within the states while advocating responsible energy policies.
"A strong energy supply is absolutely necessary for our communities and for our nation," Governor Bentley said. "Reliable energy helps us recruit jobs. It supports economic stability. And it helps make oil and natural gas more affordable. By responsibly developing our energy resources here at home, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil while supporting our economy and meeting the energy needs of the future."
Governor Bentley delivered his Chairman's Address during the IOGCC's 2013 Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California. He discussed progress on IOGCC initiatives that were first unveiled when he assumed the chairmanship last fall.
Among the IOGCC's top priorities is the "States First" Initiative. The name of this program recognizes that states have always been leaders in innovation and enforcing regulations. The "States First" Initiative includes several elements, such as improving ways that IOGCC member states share information, solve challenges and develop best practices on various energy-related initiatives.
"States First" also includes improving certifications for inspectors in the oil and natural gas fields while ensuring strict compliance with various regulations. The "States First" initiative is a partnership between the IOGCC and the Groundwater Protection Council.
"I am a firm believer that states have the best expertise and local knowledge to develop policies and solutions on a variety of energy issues," Governor Bentley said. "The bottom line of the "States First' Initiative is this: It will help us move forward with job creation, with economic activity and with reducing our dependence on foreign oil by protecting and encouraging the safe and responsible development of home-grown energy."
Governor Bentley concluded his Chairman's Address by recognizing the IOGCC's incoming chairman, Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi.
"Governor Bryant knows first-hand the need for reliable sources of energy and the need for proper regulations and precautions," Governor Bentley said. "We know that with proper procedures in place, we can and should develop our resources for the benefit of our citizens. I have no doubt that Governor Bryant will build upon the IOGCC's progress, and I look forward to working with him."