PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Natural gas production is the topic of discussion at a two-day conference in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Attendees are not only concerned with gas production and pricing, but are getting ready for a visit from a presidential candidate as well.

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Since 2015, 90 oil and gas companies have filed for bankruptcy in the United States. Those figures come from the president of Marathon who is in Pittsburgh to make the opening comments for the Shale Insight conference.

The question then is – why is there so much optimism when it comes to the energy sector?

“What is important for this region is to open up new markets, new pipelines, new transportation, the logistics to the East Coast so we can export from the East Coast,” said Gary Heminger, the president and CEO of Marathon Petroleum.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald believes the region’s developing shale gas resources will provide a big boost in another sector.

“We can not only export the energy, but we can use that gas to have another manufacturing renaissance, making the plastics that are coming out of the cracker plant,” said Fitzgerald.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will speak at the convention Thursday.

“We invited the Clinton campaign to be part of our luncheon today. They declined, respectfully declined, very nice letter and there was a conflict in scheduling,” said David Spigelmyer, the president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “But Donald Trump, I think, realizes that energy is a catalyst. We have extraordinary challenges before us. Fighting ISIS. Let’s face it. We are going to need energy to be able to put the building blocks together to have a strategy to combat ISIS.”

London-based Kallanish Commodities covers energy news around the world. They are having a little fun with Trump’s visit.

“We are asking people who attend Shale Insight which U.S. presidential candidate will have the biggest impact on the oil and gas industry, and we are just asking for their opinion and what they think,” said Catherine MacMillan of Kallanish Commodities.

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Trump’s speech to the 1,500 people who are at the conference will be scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.