Letter to the Editor: CMU’s Scott Institute is researching shale in PA

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

On Sept. 15, 2014, the Tartan Board published an editorial entitled “PA environmental issues need CMU attention” that calls on the university to focus its attention on local environmental issues, especially the impacts of shale gas development. The editorial implies that the university does not conduct such research already.

Had your editorial board asked Carnegie Mellon's Scott Institute on Energy Innovation leadership about what research was taking place at Carnegie Mellon on this topic, we would have been pleased to report that Carnegie Mellon has extensive research activity on the issue of shale and the environment in Western Pennsylvania. Much of Carnegie Mellon's work is summarized in a Scott Institute policymaker guide entitled: “Shale Gas and the Environment: Critical Need for a Government-University-Industry Research Initiative.” Some of this research described in the guide has led to action, including a major change in Pennsylvania policy on the handling of wastewater from shale gas development activities.

In addition, Carnegie Mellon faculty chair major national and regional advisory committees, teach courses, and provide testimony at congressional and regional federal agency hearings focused on shale and the environment. The Scott Institute also hosts public events discussing shale gas development issues in this region. And, just this week, we authored an article in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, that highlights the importance of regionally-focused research on shale gas development.

Should the editors ask, the Scott Institute would be more than happy to assist them in identifying subject matter for an article on the subject.

Deborah Stine
Associate Director for Policy Outreach
Scott Institute on Energy Innovation