We look forward to a successful Midyear meeting at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines outside of Austin, TX on April 26-27. Registration has been robust and we anticipate a well attended meeting.
As mentioned in the prior Board Report, Dr. Martin Regalia, the Chief Economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will deliver the keynote address on the economic outlook for U.S. businesses in the near future. Another featured speaker, Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger — a leading energy industry consultant — will address significant issues facing the natural gas industry within the next 3 to 5 years. General Session panels will address greenhouse gas issues and their potential impacts on the natural gas industry, the current status of PHMSA initiatives, and progress made on pipeline transportation and storage issues that were identified at our 2006 meetings. We also will have a presentation on the 811initiative and progress made of Foundation efforts to address workforce issues.
On the evening of April 25th, Dr. Edward Bond will lead the Executive Committee in a workshop to begin the process of developing a long-term Strategic Plan for the Foundation. In January the Executive Committee determined that in light of significant changes that have occurred in the energy industry since the Foundation’s inception, it would be wise to conduct a Strategic Planning exercise to ensure that the Foundation’s mission and performance meet the needs of the contemporary interstate natural gas industry.
Finally, several Foundation and INGAA members have submitted concepts for 2008 studies that will be vetted at the Planning and Studies Committee Meeting on Thursday afternoon, April 26. I encourage you to continue thinking about issues that may warrant attention in 2008 as this is only the initial step in developing ideas for Foundation studies. Please communicate your thoughts, or those of people in your company who participate on INGAA committees, to Terry Boss, Lisa Beal or me prior to the end of March.