Chamber Collaborates on Oil Heritage Energy Security Conference

Adapted from an article in The Derrick written by Kara O’Neil

The Venango Chamber recently partnered with several Chamber members in hosting the inaugural Energy Security Conference in October.

The conference at Drake Well had four sessions, during which global and local experts, industry practitioners and leaders converged in the “valley that changed the world” to discuss what a successful American energy security policy would look like, and the changes the world of energy is undergoing today.

Andrew J. Tabler, an Oil City native, author and former official with the U.S. National Security Council, said the conference was born out of the May visit to the Oil Region by Khazar Ibrahim, the ambassador to the United States from Azerbaijan.

“For one day, the highest level discussions on energy happened in Venango County and they had a reason to be here because of the special history we have here,” Venango County Commissioner Sam Breene said.

The conference also drew attention to the Venango County area, as well, by getting “local leaders in touch; talking about the area’s future,” said Hind T. Karns, a consultant involved in organizing the event.

“People really seemed to enjoy the sessions, especially the question-and-answer portion,” said Michael Knecht, site administrator at Drake Well Museum and Park. The event, he said, was “very beneficial” and the energy and national security dialogue must continue.

One of the immediate benefits of the conference to the Oil Heritage Region is exposure, said John Phillips, president and chief executive officer of the Oil Region Alliance. “This is where everything started. Our desire is to make the area innovative with renewables; balanced with fossil fuels.”

Chamber President Susan Williams said it was enjoyable to work with other like-minded people who care about Venango County to pull together the conference and showcase the region. “From a chamber perspective, we are always interested in anything that impacts businesses and our community,” she said.

Some of the highlights for Williams included engaging with many chamber members as well as the Leadership Venango class’s participation in the tours of Oil City landmarks on the second day of the event.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2022 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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