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NETL Director Brian Anderson Addresses Decarbonization and IWG Progress at CMU Energy Week
Brian Anderson

NETL Director Brian Anderson discussed the Lab’s ongoing efforts to advance carbon management technology in hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy such as steel and cement production and petrochemicals in a keynote address during Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Energy Week in Pittsburgh.

CMU’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation facilitates discussion and driving action towards decarbonizing America’s energy economy — a goal shared with NETL. The university’s flagship event, CMU Energy Week, brings together energy and sustainability leaders, including scholars, investors and entrepreneurs, from across the nation to Carnegie Mellon University to exchange ideas on the world's most pressing issues in energy.

“To address climate change at the source and achieve economy-wide net zero emissions by 2050, we must explore all methods of decarbonizing our country’s industrial sector,” Anderson said. “Between clean hydrogen production sourced from America’s vast energy resources paired with carbon capture and storage processes, new carbon-reducing industrial processes and direct air capture (DAC) technologies, NETL is pioneering a variety of options that will drive economic growth while lowering emissions.”

NETL is well-positioned to lead the development of DAC technology. The Lab has been instrumental in advancing research to capture CO2 from the flue gas streams produced by power plants and other industries and store it permanently and safely in deep underground complexes and geologic reservoirs or use it as a feedstock to produce high-value products such as chemicals and plastics.

Anderson also serves as executive director of the Biden Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. During CMU Energy Week, he highlighted decarbonized energy and job opportunities it can bring to the nation and especially the region of Appalachia, a historic producer of energy and hotbed of industry.

The IWG was established by Executive Order 14008, Sec. 218 in January 2021, to ensure the shift to a clean energy economy that will good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation, and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas and power plant communities across the country. The IWG prepared an initial report that includes recommendations to catalyze robust economic activity and support workers in America’s energy sector. Under Anderson’s leadership, NETL researchers have advanced a range of technologies to ensure affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security.

CMU Energy Week comes as one of many events that brings all the stakeholders that can make decarbonized power possible under one roof. NETL also took part in the conference’s Energy Career Fair, held on March 21. The career fair was tailored to employers in the energy sector interested in recruiting students for internships or full-time opportunities. Students from all majors passionate about working within the energy sector were encouraged to attend.

“Success in these ambitious goals comes down to partnership and collaboration,” said James Ferguson, NETL State & Local Partnerships manager. “It’s important for the Lab to take an active role in gatherings like CMU Energy Week, which give us a chance to network potential partners in industry and academia that will help realize our shared goals.”

CMU Energy Week continues at the Cohon University Center in Pittsburgh and will conclude on Friday, March 24.

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.