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Our Region's Need

Western Pennsylvania has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Once an industrial powerhouse of the United States, the region suffered demographic and economic losses throughout the late 20th Century. Since then, the region has worked hard to reinvent itself. Today, Pittsburgh and its nearby communities are at the forefront of innovation in health, education, and technology. Given its endowment of natural gas and natural gas liquids, western Pennsylvania has also become a major energy hub. Despite all of this growth, a number of challenges remain. The region still suffers from legacy environmental degradation, infrastructural stress, and uneven development within and between its many communities. 

With the support of its generous funders, the CEPM is working to address these challenges. Through strategic partnerships, the CEPM is harnessing the talents of its students, faculty, and staff to affect change. 

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The Center's Work

The Center for Energy Policy and Management (CEPM) is a part of Washington & Jefferson College (W&J), a private liberal arts institution located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Formed in 2012 amidst the region's shale gas boom, the Center was charged with fostering the development of energy policy that has a place for all energy sources and promotes economic growth while minimizing environmental impacts. 

Since its establishment, the Center has become the premier source of credible, impartial, and accessible information on energy, resilience, and sustainability. Through its seminars and workshops, the Center has trained more than1,000 students, faculty, staff, citizens, and public officials on everything from in-home energy conservation techniques to the impacts of zoning policies on energy production, transmission, and consumption. While the Center does not advocate for or against any particular policy, it helps consumers and policymakers become better informed about all of their policy options. 

With the support of grants and sponsorships, the Center is able to tackle a number of issues inside and outside of the College community. Each year, the Center... 

  • Offers workshops, webinars, and conferences that focus on the most salient energy issues of today

  • Develops challenging and rewarding opportunities for students to become energy thought leaders

  • Spearheads initiatives that make W&J and its surrounding communities more sustainable

  • Assists communities with projects and programs that address energy and the built environment

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Critical Research Areas

The Center researches and writes extensively on a variety of energy and sustainability-related topics. Major areas of emphasis include... 

Student Opportunities

The Center prepares students to become energy thought leaders through various avenues. Over the past decade, more than 40 students have served as Energy Student Research Fellows. These students have 

  • Published newsletter articles and other timely pieces that have been distributed to public officials throughout the region

  • Contributed to energy efficiency projects both on and off campus

  • Partnered with outside organizations to research important energy topics

  • Gained invaluable experience writing, managing, and reporting on grants

In addition, the Center has funded students to travel to conferences, present research, and pursue topics that interest them. 

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