American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 159

ConventionCoverage: Ohio Oil & Gas Association

New Era Is Under Way
For Ohio Industry
By Del Torkelson
COLUMBUS, OH.-A new era
dawned for the Buckeye State's petroleum
industry during the Ohio Oil & Gas Association's winter conference, held March
7-9 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton,
with the announcement that it had tapped
Matthew Hammond as its new executive
vice president.
In a press release about the hire, OOGA
cites Hammond's extensive government
affairs background, including his work
on energy policy. Before he joined OOGA
as senior vice president in January, the
association notes, Hammond served as
principal for Vorys Advisors LLC. Previously, he was senior director of government
affairs for Chesapeake Energy Corp., and
served on OOGA's Executive Committee
and Board of Trustees.
Hammond expressed gratitude to
OOGA on the convention's second day
for choosing him to advocate on the association's behalf. "I am excited and
humbled," he expressed. "This association's future is bright. I am extremely
thankful for the opportunity and I am
ready to get to work."
Going Forward
According to Hammond, OOGA was
energizing and adjusting its committee
structure, and he predicted that a robust
committee process would help the group
meet the industry's challenges. "The
real purpose is increasing member engagement and developing a good format
for OOGA's staff and members to communicate on a regular basis," he related.
"There is a lot of expertise in this membership; it is our responsibility and opportunity to tap into that. Committees
will work on issues simultaneously in a
cooperative fashion and make recommendations to leadership, with the goal
of advancing the industry's agenda with
the legislature and regulatory agencies."
OOGA's Environmental Committee
will be the association's key regulatory
committee, and will be divided into subcommittees covering air, water and subsurface, he explained. It will collaborate

with the Midstream Committee, he continued, which is broadening its focus to
include more federal regulatory matters.
Meanwhile, he said, OOGA's Technical
Committee will strive to offer something
akin to a technical advisory council, while
the new State and Local Tax and Communications committees will aim to advance members' interests in those arenas.
With regard to regulatory matters at
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,
Hammond said OOGA was working with
the Division of Oil & Gas on a number of
issues, including an idle/orphan well bill
in the general assembly, an upcoming
regulatory review and a possible draft
rule on simultaneous operations. "We may
not agree on everything, but we communicate with each other a lot and find areas
of common ground," he described.
An orphan well bill, HB 225, constitutes
one of the three main bills OOGA is pushing during the 2018 session, Hammond
reported, saying that the legislation seeks
to establish a robust plugging program
and secure funding for it. The bill had
passed the Ohio House of Representatives
92-0 and was awaiting Senate action.

The next bill with OOGA backing to
which Hammond referred was SB 236,
which defined the term "affected mine,"
and sought to establish a balanced appeals
process for conflicting mineral interests.
He said it was working its way through
the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee.
With its third legislative initiative,
OOGA is advocating clarifications for
the state's sales and use tax exemptions
through HB 430, he detailed. That bill,
he said, had passed the House 85-12 and
was going through the Senate committee
process.
"The word that constantly pops into
my head is 'urgency,'" Hammond related.
"A lot of these issues are very time-sensitive and of critical importance."
Legislative Forum
OOGA's priorities in the general assembly were a prominent topic of the legislative forum moderated by Amanda Finn,
government relations manager at Ascent
Resources LLC, who chairs OOGA's Government Relations Committee.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-

LEFT: New OOGA Executive Vice President Matthew Hammond pauses with Ohio
Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor before her remarks on the last day of OOGA's winter
meeting. RIGHT: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine addresses OOGA on the conference's
second day. OOGA held its 2018 winter meeting March 7-9 in Columbus, Oh.

APRIL 2018 159



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Contents
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