By: Tejas Gosai
Growing up in the small town of Bentleyville, PA, I remember my father telling me stories of the great, witty, hardy-working, business mogul, who started 84 Lumber and the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Joseph A. Hardy III. As Joe Hardy became a household name I learned more and more about his difficult background and how when it came to business or life, he just never quit. The man believes that nothing is impossible, and true to his word, he is still contributing to the community, preserving his empire by working with his family, and having a great time while doing it.
The Nemacolin Energy Institute (NEI), created by Joe Hardy, is a non-profit organization that promotes energy development and encourages resource and environmental conservation. The 2nd Annual Marcellus Shale Golf Invitational, hosted by NEI, was held at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort on October 3rd and 4th in an extremely successful effort to discuss shale impact and recent policies. With companies like Phillips Energy Partners, Texla Energy Management, 84 Energy Supply, Range Resources, and many more, the 2nd Annual Marcellus Shale Golf Invitational was a platform for intellectual debate, educational sessions, political discussion, and much more. In my opinion, there is no better place in the world than Nemacolin to show that we have to preserve our wildlife, water, lands, and air, while at the same time developing alternative fuels to keep our world moving. Many of the nation’s top energy executives were in attendance and eager to discuss issues that affect not only companies, but the people (like you and me).
The schedule of the two day event was as follows:
|Monday October 3, 2011|
|10:00 – 11:00 am||Education Session: Bi-Partisan Conversation: Shale impact on national energy policy
U.S. Congressman Mark Critz, (PA-12)
U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-9)
|10:00 am – 3:00 pm||Exhibits: Tri-County Oil & Gas Expo|
|3:00 – 4:00 pm||Education Session: Marcellus Hydraulic Fracturing:
What does it mean for families and communities?Diane K. McLaughlin, PhD.
The Pennsylvania State University
Vice President, Regulatory & Government AffairsRange Resources – Appalachia, LLC
|5:30 – 6:30 pm||Reception with special guests Governor Corbett and Professor of Rural Sociology & Demography, Graduate Program Coordinator, Community & Economic Development Mr. K. Scott Roy|
|6:30 – 8:30 pm||Dinner
Welcome Joe Hardy, Founder & Chairman of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands ResortThe Honorable Tom Corbett
Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Mr. Jimmy Staton
NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage
|Tuesday October 4, 2011|
Mr. Dave Spigelmyer
Vice President-Government Affairs, Chesapeake Energy CorporationThe Honorable Jim Cawley
Lt. Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Chair, Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission
|10:30 – 11:30 am||The Regulatory Environment…from the Top!
The Honorable David Mustine
General Manager – Energy, JobsOhio &
Former-Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
The Honorable Mike Krancer
Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
|12:30 pm||Shotgun start: Mystic Rock and Links Golf Tournaments
Special Guests: US Open Champion Lucas Glover & Ben Witter star of Power Golf Trick Shot Show
|7:30 – 9:30 pm||Executive Dinner, Keynote & Golf AwardsThe Honorable Tom Ridge
President & CEO, Ridge Global LLC, First Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security & Former Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
PA Governor Tom Corbett gave an inspiring speech about Pennsylvania’s integral role in our energy future stating that “energy equals jobs.” But I was really waiting for Corbett to discuss his impact fee, which he recently rolled out. It is a plan that will allow counties to impose significant fees on drilling companies for their “disturbance” to the local communities and state. Corbett stressed that there were many areas and neighborhoods that were affected by the drilling and it is only right for the counties to receive some stimulus to help maintain their neighborhood roads, noise ordinances, permitting requirements, etc. Overall, stakeholders are supportive of the impact fee and energy companies were also in agreement, as long as the method and policies in place are regulated properly with consistency.
Though Tuesday’s weather was chilly and misty, being on Nemacolin’s golf course was magical. Picture this, hole 13, teeing up on a world renowned gold course, one can see the rolling mountains of the Laurel Highlands, superbly manicured lawns abutting a small lake with fish, and Snowball, the albino buffalo Joe Hardy keeps in his zoo which the golf course surrounds. Needless to say, the golf tournament was fun and golfers took part in some friendly competition. This event is something to be remembered, as is almost every trip to this wonderful animal and nature preserve. Mr. Hardy, his family, and the folks at The Nemacolin Energy Institute are moving things in the right direction by trying to maintain the environmental integrity of the lands affected by “earth- interference,” while utilizing the extremely positive benefits of the energy industry. Hats off to Warrior Energy for winning the golf tournament and the Nemacolin Energy Institute for helping us make the world a better place.