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Director Anderson Speaks at Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, which will be held June 7-8, 2021, in Morgantown, West Virginia.
NETL Director to Discuss Plans to Ensure Energy Communities Are Not Left Behind

NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will outline plans for growth and revitalization in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities as the nation shifts to a clean energy economy when he speaks at the 10th Annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, which will be held June 7-8, 2021, in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Logo for Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, which will be held June 7-8, 2021, in Morgantown, West Virginia.“Charting the path to a carbon-free energy sector is necessary to save our planet. However, it’s also imperative that no communities are left behind as we refine and discover technologies to eliminate carbon emissions,” said Anderson, who will deliver the presentation “Empowering Workers Through Revitalizing Energy Communities” at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 8.

In addition to his leadership role at NETL, Anderson also serves as Executive Director of the Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, which was established in January 2021 to ensure the transition to clean energy creates good-paying union jobs, spurs economic revitalization, remediates environmental degradation and supports existing energy workers across the country.

“I am excited about this upcoming opportunity to address West Virginia’s manufacturers and outline our strategies as we move forward to create opportunities for impacted workers and communities, including those in Mountain State while advancing the Biden Administration’s goals of net-zero carbon emissions in the power sector by 2035 and the broader economy by 2050,” said Anderson, a longtime resident of West Virginia and a descendant of coal miners.

In its initial report of findings and suggestions, the IWG identified 25 priority U.S. geographies, including the southern West Virginia non-metropolitan area, the Wheeling area, the northern West Virginia non-metropolitan area, Beckley and Charleston as traditional energy communities where steps need to be taken to catalyze economic development.

Anderson will outline how the abundant natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale region, which encompasses 104,000 square miles in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and western New York, will play a critical role in creating new jobs as part of an expanded chemical manufacturing industry based in Appalachia.

“As the U.S. prepares to undergo one of the greatest energy evolutions, possibly in its entire history, NETL is actively seeking to work with industry and manufacturers to strengthen U.S. capabilities to serve as a world leader in the conversion of natural gas and its liquid components into the chemical feedstocks to manufacture an extensive list of commodities and consumer products used daily,” Anderson said. 

One of the Lab’s four key lab initiatives is its Center for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals. The center’s purpose is to serve as a technology incubation center and consortia to transform the downstream chemical sector and scale far-term technologies to maturation. The center will also help get products to market faster, at lower costs and with less environmental impact while creating a more agile chemicals supply chain.

In addition, Anderson will explain how NETL is at the forefront of developing:

  • Pyrolysis and gasification techniques to convert natural gas and other resources to clean synthesis gas for the low-cost production of electricity, transportation fuels, chemicals, hydrogen and other useful products to suit market needs. Coupled with carbon capture and storage capabilities, low-cost hydrogen sourced from natural gas feedstocks can significantly reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  • Microwave technology to convert natural gas and other resources into marketable chemicals and products. The technology also produces higher yields using lower temperatures and less energy.
  • High-performance computing, simulation and modeling tools to develop new, cost-effective processes with enhanced expediency and accuracy.  
  • Materials that can thrive in harsh drilling environments and computational models of the subsurface to reach productive plays deep underground and minimize the environmental footprint of resource extraction.

The Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference is held by the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. Click here to register and learn how to attend in person at the Waterfront Place Marriott in Morgantown or for virtual options.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.