The West Texas Energy Consortium (â€śConsortiumâ€ť) announced that it will hold its Inaugural Conference in Big Spring on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. The Consortium is a collaborative forum for business and industry representatives and partners in education, workforce, housing, local government and the non-profit sector, within the various counties comprising the West Central Texas, Concho Valley and Permian Basin Regions to further the development and economic opportunities associated with the unconventional resource shale plays in the area.
A highlight of the conference will be an address given by Dr. Thomas Tunstall, the Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Development with the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Tunstall will report on Phase I of the Economic Impact Study surrounding the energy development in communities located in and around the Cline Shale Formation currently being explored and drilled by the oil and gas sector. Dr. Bernard Weinstein, Associate Director of SMUâ€™s Maguire Energy Institute, will also address the audience about the social, economic and environmental impacts of energy development. An oil and gas sector representative will provide an industry update and a representative from the Railroad Commission of Texas out of Austin will provide an update on oil and gas activity in the region as well as on new regulatory standards recently adopted by the agency.
The conference is open to the public. Registration details and information can be found at www.westtexasenergyconsortium.com. A registration fee of $25 per person will help defray the cost of continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments.
Victor G. Carrillo who chairs the Consortium and is a former chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas says, â€śWe are excited to have our inaugural meeting in Big Spring and we look forward to a large turnout of people from West Central Texas, the Concho Valley and the Permian Basin to share insights and discuss ways to enhance the economic benefits and opportunities associated with the unconventional resource shale plays while at the same time effectively dealing with the potential impacts on the local communities.â€ť
The conference is being hosted by Howard College in Big Spring at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum. Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, had the following to say about the upcoming event, â€śDuring this period of exciting growth in the area, the West Texas Energy Consortium has been created to further advance this region and to unite our collective efforts to effectively manage this change in our West Texas way of life. This is an opportune time to strengthen our position as an energy leader for the next generation and to sustain our economic viability to this state and nation, even the world. Two pillars of the economic strength and heritage of Howard County have been the energy industry as well as being at the crossroads of West Texas due to I-20 and Hwy 87. Thus, Big Spring is the perfect place for the Inaugural Conference to chart the course for the future. Howard College Big Spring is pleased to host the event in the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum which was envisioned as a gathering place for events such as this by the donors and taxpayers of Howard County. It will be a great day for business and industry, communities and public entities to learn from each other as we work together to meet the demands of these pivotal times in our history.â€ť