The Rep. Mark Critz-founded Marcellus Shale Caucus had its first meeting today, an informational briefing from the Congressional Research Service.
In the photo above, provided by Critz's office, you can see the man himself front row center and on the right, the back of Rep. Glenn Thompson's head. No sign of caucus member (and potential merged-district primary foe) Rep. Jason Altmire.
Full release is below the jump.
Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Congressman Mark Critz (D-PA) are pleased to announce the creation of the U.S. House of Representatives Marcellus Shale Caucus and have convened its first meeting today in Washington, D.C. The caucus currently has 17 members from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Reed and Critz will co-chair the caucus.
"This initial meeting offered an opportunity for us to get organized and to begin mapping out a procedural outline for the caucus," commented Congressman Critz. "The various issues surrounding Marcellus Shale exploration have far-reaching impacts on our districts, and I am pleased that we are moving forward."
"We discussed ideas on what the best forums might be for experts from all sides of Marcellus Shale development to participate in," Congressman Reed added. "The goal of the caucus is to bring people together and cut through some of the emotion so we can focus on the science."
The caucus also heard initial background information from experts provided by the Congressional Research Service.
Both Reed and Critz emphasized that while individual caucus members may have taken public stands on Marcellus Shale issues, the goal of the caucus would not be to promote any particular agenda but rather to conduct an open discussion and debate. In addition to hosting frequent briefings, the caucus is considering holding field hearings in member districts to hear from front line leaders in the industry and local citizen groups.