New Energy Association Merger Set for 2016

The merger of the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance will result in an energy lobbying powerhouse.

The American Petroleum Institute will absorb America’s Natural Gas Alliance to form a single association representing the interests of the energy industry, according to a recent joint announcement.

The two organizations will work to lobby for issues supported by both groups, such as API’s push for oil exports and ANGA’s fight against regulations on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

“There is a natural synergy between our organizations,” API CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement. “As a single organization, the combined skills and capabilities bring an enhanced advocacy strength to natural gas market development—ANGA’s primary mission—and the combined association’s expanded membership will provide additional lift to API’s ongoing efforts on important public policy issues.”

ANGA President Marty Durbin will lead the new Market Development Group at API, a team which will continue his organization’s goal to promote natural gas as a clean, alternative energy source. Before stepping into leadership at ANGA, Durbin served as executive vice president at API under Gerard.

“ANGA was founded in 2009 at the beginning of the shale energy revolution, and its members were visionary regarding the benefits natural gas would bring to our energy supply and our economy,” Durbin said in the statement. “Combining these two associations continues that vision by recognizing how best to organize for maximum effect. I look forward to combining forces to drive even greater utilization of abundant, clean burning and affordable natural gas.”

The agreement will also make all ANGA members full members of API. When Politico initially reported talks of a merger in September, it said the change would better serve the many companies who are currently paying dues to both associations, especially as oil and natural gas prices are at a low.

The same article said the merger follows the two groups becoming more closely aligned on key issues over recent years, namely on the topic of exporting natural gas and oil.

The Hill reported the alignment is “owing largely to the extensive natural gas production by oil companies and the need to defend fossil fuels writ large.” The groups have rarely disagreed publically on central energy matters despite their competition within the transportation energy market.

Both groups lobby the government heavily on energy issues, though API—which represents oil and natural gas industry companies—spent $9.9 million on lobbying in 2014 while ANGA—whose members include independent natural gas exploration and production companies—spent $1.34 million.

The two associations will begin operating as one entity under the name API on January 1, 2016, though the statement said “API and ANGA have long collaborated to highlight environmental, job creation, energy security and consumer benefits from abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas.”

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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