Commissioners: Clearfield County Should Step Up, Host 2011 Gas Expo

Clearfield County Administrative Offices (GantDaily File Photo)

CLEARFIELD – Following an update on the North Central Gas Expo on Tuesday, the Clearfield County Commissioners would like the county to “step up” and host the event next year.

Jodi Brennan, director of the Clearfield County Department of Planning, who helped coordinate the event, said the Elk County Marcellus Shale Gas Task Force held the natural gas expo Oct. 12 – 14 in conjunction with Cameron, Clearfield and Jefferson Counties in St. Marys. She said it was an opportunity for local businesses to fuse with gas industry leaders.

She said those who attended the three-day expo learned how their goods and or services could be utilized to support the Marcellus Shale gas industry in the region. In addition, she said the expo offered its more than 160 participants an opportunity to network and tune into educational workshops related to Marcellus Shale.

According to Brennan, Clearfield County had 22 businesses registered to participate in the gas expo. She said the county was represented by a “nice mix” from banking and consulting services to economic development and exploration and production agencies.

Brennan said that they anticipate approximately $3,000 in proceeds from the event. She said it will be used for start-up funds for next year’s natural gas expo.

She said that they haven’t had any county – Clearfield, Cameron or Jefferson – step forward and offer to host the expo in 2011. She believed that perhaps Clearfield County may want to do so.

“I certainly think that we should step up,” said Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen. She pointed out that the board attended a press conference held Monday by Rob Swales, director of the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp.

Robinson-McMillen said that Swales plans to establish an energy department and hire one, full-time staff member to serve as the vice president of energy development for the county. She said the individual who fills this position should be involved if the county was to hold the natural gas expo next year.

She also believed that the Chamber of Commerce in both Clearfield and DuBois could work in conjunction to plan the event.

Commissioner Chairman John Sobel said he only heard positive feedback about the event. He said there appears to be a lot of “excitement and enthusiasm” around the natural gas industry at the present time.

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