Natural Gas Policy Institute


Sept. 9-11, 2015 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

Natural gas usage is increasing and it is playing a larger role in state energy systems and economies.

State legislators are critical to shaping policies that address a broad range of natural gas-related challenges and opportunities. These include efforts to manage the local and regional impacts of natural gas extraction and to ensure that the process is properly regulated.

Policymakers are also working to ensure that natural gas infrastructure is adequate and reliable through the replacement of old and aging pipelines and other efforts. State legislators are addressing a number of other related issues as well, such as the exportation of liquefied natural gas, promoting natural gas vehicles and using natural gas for combined heat and power. Natural gas plays a critical role in most state economies due to its use in many sectors, including electric power, heating, vehicle fuels and the manufacturing of industrial products.

Natural Gas rigThe Natural Gas Policy Institute provided legislators with the rare opportunity to spend an extended amount of time exploring the economic and regulatory issues related to the production, distribution and resulting end use of natural gas resources. Additionally, legislators toured a facility that develops widely used thermoplastic resins derived from oil and natural gas as well as a combined heat and power facility located on the campus of Duquesne University.

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015

Welcoming remarks

The North American Natural Gas Revolution

This session examined the driving forces behind the natural gas revolution in the U.S. and investigated the short- and long-term outlook for supply and consumption. It also explored how these developments are effecting the energy mix, electricity prices and the economy.


  • Grant Nülle, Upstream Oil and Gas Economist, U.S. Energy Information Administration | Presentation
  • Alan Krupnick, senior fellow, Resources for the Future | No Presentation
  • Melissa Hockstad, vice president, Petrochemicals, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers | Presentation

Pipeline Infrastructure: Replacement and Expansion Needs

The tremendous increase in U.S. natural gas supplies is beginning to strain the capabilities of existing pipeline infrastructure. Low prices and government regulations are likely to drive natural gas demand for many years, so new delivery infrastructure is needed. This session examined major pipeline projects and examined efforts from state policymakers, federal agencies and the natural gas industry to address challenges related to siting, permitting and financing upgrades to pipeline infrastructure.


  • Jeff Wiese, associate administrator, Pipeline Safety, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration | Presentation
  • Kyle Rogers, vice president, Government Relations, American Gas Association | Presentation
  • Jim Kibler, senior vice president, External Affairs & Public Policy, AGL Resources | Presentation

Managing Potential Risks of the Shale Gas Boom

The rapid growth of natural gas extraction sites, especially when they are near communities, has raised public concerns over water quality impacts, methane emissions, seismicity and other issues. This session examined how states are working to address environmental and public health risks associated with increased natural gas extraction.


  • Alan Krupnick, senior fellow, Resources for the Future | No Presentation
  • Craig Sundstrom, deputy secretary of energy, Oklahoma | Presentation

Balancing Heat and Electricity Needs for Natural Gas

The growing use of natural gas for electricity generation has stretched pipeline capacity, causing competition between the electricity generation and heating markets. This session discussed how policymakers, electric utilities and natural gas industries are working to address this challenge. It also explored supply fluctuations, access issues and ways to reduce reliability risks.


  • Michaela Burroughs, policy coordinator, American Gas Association | Presentation
  • Marguerite Mills, vice president, Fuel Procurement, American Electric Power | Presentation

The Role of Federal Regulation

This session examined the federal regulatory role when it comes to natural gas production, distribution, exports and pipeline safety. It also explored conclusions and recommendations related to natural gas infrastructure from the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review.


  • Lara Pierpoint, special adviser, Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation
  • Pamela J. Boudreau, deputy director, Division of Pipeline Certificates, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission | Presentation

Natural Gas Applications: Technology and Policy

This session explored other uses of natural gas that are driving demand, including enhancing competitiveness, increasing reliability and reducing emissions with Combined Heat & Power, its growing use as a transportation fuel and as feedstock for the chemical industry. The challenges of meeting these needs and state policies that address these challenges were also explored.


  • Ian Ruben, director, Mergers and Acquisitions, Braskem America | No Presentation
  • Ron Edelstein, director, State Regulatory Programs, Gas Technology Institute | Presentation
  • Gearoid Foley, senior technical adviser, DOE’s Mid-Atlantic CHP Technical Assistance Partnership | Presentation

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

Recap from yesterday’s sessions

Assessing Uncertainty and Risk for Supply and Reliability

As natural gas plays an increasing role in state energy portfolios, there is an increased need to consider risks and uncertainties related to supply and infrastructure. Federal regulations, such as EPA’s new CO2 emission standards, are likely to accelerate the shift towards natural gas and further increase the importance of reliable and resilient natural gas infrastructure.  This session explored these issues and what policymakers should keep in mind as they work to ensure a reliable energy system. 


  • Jason Smith, director, Market Development, America’s Natural Gas Alliance | Presentation

Exporting Natural Gas

As natural gas supplies have surpassed demand, many are interested in exporting natural gas to take advantage of international markets where natural gas commands far higher prices. This session explored the potential benefits and challenges related to exporting natural gas.


  • Paul Hartman, regional director, State Affairs, America’s Natural Gas Alliance | Presentation
  • Bruce McKay, managing director, Federal Affairs, Dominion | Presentation

Putting it all Together [Facilitated Discussion]

State approaches to the growing abundance of natural gas can be improved if decision makers understand how natural gas interacts with the energy system as a whole. This session explored what states may need when it comes to natural gas and long term planning, federal regulations, integration in the energy mix, reliability and economic development.

Site Tour: Duquesne University's Combined Heat and Power Facility

Friday, Sept. 11, 2015

Site Tour: Braskem's Innovation and Technology Center