Thompson Introduces Oil Region National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act

January 17, 2019
Press Release
Bill honors Northwestern PA as the birthplace of oil industry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today introduced legislation reauthorize the Oil Region National Heritage Area’s federal charter.  

This national heritage area celebrates the region’s historic role in the founding of the petroleum industry, beginning in 1859. Originally designated by law in 2004, the Oil Region National Heritage Area became the country’s 25th of 49 National Heritage Areas.

Originally designated by Congress in 2004, Rep. Thompson’s bill – H.R. 642 – would reauthorize this important National Heritage Area through 2026. The designation has had a significant impact upon Northwestern Pennsylvania’s tourism, businesses and economic development throughout 34 municipalities over 708 square miles. Included are the City of Titusville and Oil Creek Township in eastern Crawford County, Hydetown Borough in eastern Crawford County, plus all of the County of Venango.

“I am thrilled to reintroduce this important legislation that directly helps Northwestern Pennsylvania grow and thrive while maintaining our rich heritage,” Rep. Thompson said. “We have made significant contributions to American culture, and this designation helps to ensure they’ll long be remembered and treasured.”

“The Oil Region Alliance commends Congressman Thompson for his introduction of this vital legislation, and Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16) for his co-sponsorship of this bill,” said Mr. John R. Phillips, II, ORA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Extending the sunset date will enable pivotal programmatic and financial assistance from the National Park Service to continue the Oil Region National Heritage Area’s programs and projects to preserve, promote, develop, and support historical, educational, natural, recreational, commercial, and industrial resources of Venango and eastern Crawford Counties.”

National Heritage Areas are places where historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to form cohesive, nationally important landscapes. Unlike national parks, National Heritage Areas are largely lived-in landscapes.  

For more information on the Oil Region Alliance, please visit