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Center for Energy Policy and Management at

Washington & Jefferson College

Event Sponsors

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Past Programs

The Justice40 Initiative was established by executive order as part of President Biden’s climate and clean energy efforts to address decades of underinvestment in disadvantaged. While development policies have historically been located in low-income and minority communities, the initiative will bring resources to disadvantaged communities by using environmental justice principles. Sonrisa Lucero, Special Advisor for Stakeholder Engagement in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy provides an overview of the Justice40 program and energy justice efforts, how funding will be leveraged to disadvantaged areas, and the community benefits plan.

3/8 Webinar- Renewable Natural Gas: Finding Value in Trash

Renewable natural gas (RNG), also known as biogas, is a fast-growing segment of the natural gas industry. Natural gas is primarily methane, a naturally occurring byproduct of the decomposition process at landfills. Rather than vent it into the atmosphere, companies have turned to collecting and processing the gas and using it to power compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, for power generation, or for other purposes. Biogas is sustainable and can also be produced from the decomposition process at agricultural operations or wastewater treatment facilities. Speakers will be Steven Schmitz, Managing Partner at Green Rock Energy Partners, which owns South Hills Landfill, and Tom Spears, Capitol Area Gas Operations Manager for WM, formerly Waste Management, which owns a number of landfills with renewable natural gas energy projects in the state.

The RSLPP is designed to help municipalities overcome the barriers to undertaking an LED conversion project, such as navigating the process, identifying the best solutions, finding trusted project partners, and paying for the project’s upfront costs. This session will explain how the RSLPP is structured, the results of the program, and how DVRPC is using this model to support other energy transition projects. Speakers include Liz Compitello, Manager of Sustainable Energy at Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and Mike Fuller, President of Keystone Lighting Solutions. 

This webinar will focuses on the growing field of agrivoltaics (sometimes referred to as agrisolar, dual-use solar, or low-impact solar) in Pennsylvania. The term ‘agrivoltaics’ refers to the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic energy generation systems. An understanding of agrivoltaics is necessary as the search for land parcels that can accommodate the United States’ growing solar power sector continues. This program features Michael Roth, a Washington & Jefferson College alumnus who serves as the Director of Conservation and Innovation at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

10/17 Webinar- Plugging In: EVs and the Charging Network

This program discusses the basics of electric vehicles, state and federal incentives to increase their use, and federal funding available to accelerate the construction of a comprehensive national network of charging stations along major highways. The program was presented by Natasha Fackler, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator, and Colton Brown, Energy Program Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

4/20  Webinar- Hydrogen: The Future of Clean Energy?

Hydrogen is a fuel source that generates no emissions when burned and can be produced in a number of ways to be a clean fuel. It is seen as a solution for hard-to-decarbonize economic sectors, like manufacturing and long-distance ship and truck transportation, as well as more common uses. Recent federal legislation included $8 billion for four regional hydrogen hubs, including one in Appalachia, to develop this technology in order to meet U.S. climate goals.

Adam Walters, executive director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Energy, and Perry Babb, CEO of KeyState to Zero present on hydrogen, and provide unique perspectives on the topic. 

3/30  Webinar- Two Approaches to Reducing Natural Gas Methane Emissions

Methane emissions are the second-largest cause of global warming today and oil and natural gas production is a major contributor. The EPA is proposing a new Clean Air Act rule to sharply reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry – including, for the first time, reductions from existing sources nationwide. Karen Marsh, a technical lead for developing the regulations, will discuss those efforts. Gas producers are recognizing the need to reduce emissions and several local producers have joined with Project Canary, a leader in the ESG certification of responsible operations that provide measurement-based emission profiles via continuous monitoring technology at gas wells and midstream sites. Max Goff of Project Canary will explain how the monitoring and certification process works.

3/22  Webinar - How the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Impacts Appalachian Energy

Daniel J. Weaver, president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, will present a short webinar at 11 a.m. March 23 about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine is impacting the global energy supply and the role of the Appalachian natural gas industry in meeting the challenge. He will talk about Europe’s energy needs, current production levels, imports and exports, LNG, commodity prices, and what the region’s energy future could hold. Weaver leads the state’s largest and oldest oil and gas trade association representing the full industry.

2/16  Webinar - First in the World: An Airport That Generates Its Own Power

Pittsburgh International Airport last year became the first airport in the world to be completely powered by a natural gas and solar energy microgrid, with the natural gas sourced from Marcellus shale wells drilled on airport property. A microgrid is an independent electricity source that can operate autonomously while maintaining a connection to the traditional grid.

The webinar will be presented by Tom Woodrow, P.E., Senior Vice President of Engineering and Intelligent Infrastructure for the Allegheny County Airport Authority; Jeff Nehr, Vice President of Business Development for Peoples Natural Gas; and Jamie Habberfield, Business Development Manager for IMG Energy Solutions.

11/10 Webinar - Abandoned and Orphan Wells: An Expensive Environmental Legacy

The webinar features Seth Pelepko, Subsurface Activities Division Manager for the Bureau of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. It is sponsored by Titan Energy Solutions of Southpointe, PA.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since the industry’s birth in 1859. Although owners and operators are legally responsible for plugging wells when oil and gas production ends, this does not always happen. In addition to the wells that were drilled prior to regulations pertaining to well decommissioning, there are instances in which an oil and gas company files for bankruptcy protection or moves out of the state, leaving its wells abandoned.

10/13  Webinar- Green Building for Sustainability and Health

Known as one of the greenest buildings in the world, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is the only building to meet six of the highest green certifications, including the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, and WELL Building Platinum for energy efficiency and occupant health.

As Phipps’ education, research, and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a "living museum," focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected. It is a net-zero building, meaning that it produces more energy than it consumes. In addition to generating power with a wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels, the CSL also takes advantage of geothermal wells, and passive cooling, heating, and lighting methods to operate more efficiently. The building also captures and treats the water that falls on its project site through a lagoon, constructed wetlands, rain gardens, pervious asphalt and a green roof. All building materials were sourced in compliance with the Living Building Challenge’s Materials Red List, which identifies the toxic chemicals most commonly used by manufacturers.

9/22 Webinar- Decarbonization: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Dr. Varun Rai discusses the basics of decarbonization, the technologies to achieve an energy transition, and the policies and pathways that are available to encourage rapid adoption.

Dr. Rai is a professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Texas. His interdisciplinary research –with issues at the interface of energy systems, complex systems, decision science, and public policy – focuses on studying how the interactions between the underlying social, behavioral, economic, technological, and institutional components of the energy system impact the diffusion of energy technologies.

4/14 Webinar- What is RGGI and Why Should Pennsylvania Participate?

Allen Landis of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explains the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and its impacts on Pennsylvania. 

1/13 Webinar- Why it’s Important: Corporate Responsibility in the Natural Gas Industry

In this webinar, the Shale Gas Knowledge Hub explored the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals of local natural companies and how they impact the community, environment, employees, and profit.


The webinar featured Yemi Akinkugbe, Chief Excellence Officer for CNX; Will Jordan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for EQT; and Mason Gregory, a senior analyst for MFS Investment Management who specializes in ESG topics.

ESG goals describe for community members, investors, employees, and the public how companies plan to improve and monitor their performance in areas including the environment, interaction with the community and landowners, and technological innovation, ethics and diversity. Many natural gas companies publish reports outlining these goals on their websites in an effort to be transparent.

10/7 Webinar- The Region's Natural Gas Future: The NETL Perspective

The Shale Gas Knowledge Hub hosted Justin Adder, Senior Economic Analyst at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh for a webinar on October 7, 2020. Adder identified and explained the opportunities for growth in several natural gas sectors due to the region’s abundant supply from the Marcellus and Utica shales, and outlined the recently released report “The Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance: An Assessment of Economic Progress and Opportunities”

4/5/2023 Webinar- Justice40: Bringing Energy Transition Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities

6/23 Webinar- Part 2 of the Impacts of COVID-19 on Shale Gas Development Series

The Shale Gas Knowledge Hub hosted a webinar at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 23, that featured Pittsburgh-area attorney, Joseph Morascyzk. During the program, Attorney Morascyzk discussed current and future economic conditions and how they will impact property owners whose land is leased for gas development and land owners who are receiving royalty payments from gas development. This was the second installment on the effects of COVID-19 on shale gas development.  

6/16 Webinar- Part 1 of the Impacts of COVID-19 on Shale Gas Development Series

The Shale Gas Knowledge Hub hosted a webinar at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 16, that featured Daniel J. Weaver, president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Association, the state’s largest and oldest oil and gas trade association representing the full industry.Weaver provided an overview of the shale gas industry in our region, the evolving economic situation, and the challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. The program was the first part of the Shale Gas Knowledge Hub's three-part series on the impacts of COVID-19 on the shale gas development. 

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