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Conference speakers to focus on federal issues

May 17, 2011
Federal issues are becoming increasingly important for independent oil and natural gas producers, and speakers at the OIPA's 2011 Annual Meeting will offer their insight on what's happening in Washington, D.C.

Highlighting the federal focus will be presentations from industry representatives J.C. Watts, Martin Frost and Brook Simmons.

The Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 3-7 at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, Texas. Watts, Frost and Simmons will speak during the meeting's general session on June 5.

J.C. Watts, an Oklahoma native, represents the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA) in Washington, D.C. A former Congressman, Watts in now the chairman of the J.C. Watts Companies, a multi-industry holding company headquartered in Washington, D.C., with operations in Texas and Oklahoma.

Watts, who served on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission from 1990 to 1994, was elected to the U.S. Congress from the fourth district of Oklahoma. In 1998, he was elected by his peers to serve as chairman of the Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking leadership position in the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, a position once held by Dick Cheney, Jack Kemp and Gerald Ford.

Martin Frost, a former Congressman, also represents DEPA in D.C. and has held a number of leadership positions for the Democratic Party.

From 1979 to 2005, Frost served as a member of Congress representing the Dallas-Fort Worth area. During his career in the House, he served four years as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the third highest elected leadership position for Democrats, and was the senior Democrat on the powerful Rules Committee. During the 1996 and 1998 election cycles, Frost was the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, helping his party to a net gain of 14 House seats.

Brook Simmons serves as the OIPA's federal lobbyist and is a principal of Capitol  Decisions Inc., providing a full range of federal affairs and consulting services for corporate and not-for-profit organizations across the nation.

Simmons represents a wide range of individuals and organizations, including energy producers, leading-edge semiconductor materials developers, defense contractors, aerospace companies, next-generation biofuel companies, municipalities and top agricultural research organizations. Simmons joined CDI after a successful 12-year career on Capitol Hill as a high-ranking staff member in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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