What We're Working On - Energy

Also see: Energy Workforce | Energy Grid

The Pittsburgh region has emerged as the new Center of American Energy in the United States.

The region combines historical strength in energy resources with emerging strength in innovation and energy solutions. We are home to the nation's first oil and gas wells, its first commercial nuclear reactor, a rich coal seam and now the expansive Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas plays.

Today, the region is a national leader across seven energy industries including coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, transmission and distribution, and high-performance building design. More than $1 billion per year in government-funded research flows through the region's academic, corporate and government energy research centers.

The Allegheny Conference and its partners work to promote and sustain our energy assets in a number of ways.

Energy Reliability

Reliable electricity is essential to the U.S. economy and all aspects of life - business, transportation, communication, education, manufacturing, public safety, health, national security. The Allegheny Conference is reaching out to public and private sector leaders about the risks to electric grid reliability and the need for a coordinated strategy at the national level. Read more about electric grid reliability.

Energy Efficiency

The Allegheny Conference is proud to be a partner of the District 2030 challenge, a voluntary program launched in Downtown Pittsburgh in 2012 to seek a 50% reduction of energy use, water use, and transportation emissions by the year 2030. 2014 Progress Report showed that, so far, 85% of participating properties had overall a 11.6% reduction from the baseline, putting the District ahead of 2015 reduction goals. In August 2014, the District 2030 initiative announced its expansion into Oakland as well.

Economic Impact

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. demand for energy is slated to grow by 10 percent by 2035, encouraging the Allegheny Conference in partnership with Innovation Works to convene the Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh, an economic development initiative that seeks to encourage collaboration across the region’s portfolio of energy-related industries to provide cleaner, efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Greater Pittsburgh 32-County Energy Scorecard

As the full potential of the Marcellus Shale play has developed, activity and investment has shifted from initial drilling activity (upstream) to transmission and distribution (midstream) and additional uses of natural gas and its components (downstream).

For those organizations considering shifting existing fleets to natural gas fuel, the Conference is offering informational resources to assist in that decision.

A recent analysis by the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on the potential economic impact of a proposed ethane cracker to be built by Shell Chemicals LLC in Beaver County. This project would be one of the largest industrial investments in the region in a generation and would lay the groundwork for a resurgence in manufacturing.

The analysis covers the economic impact during construction and operation of the facility. During the peak construction year, the League projects a total of 18,000 jobs with 10,000 of those being direct construction jobs. Total economic output during the peak construction year would be $2.8 billion. Once the facility is in operation, the League projects the creation of 2000 to 8000 total jobs which would include 400 direct jobs. The annual economic output during the operations phase is anticipated to be $4.8 billion.


In 2009 the Conference partnered with Innovation Works (IW) to create the Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh (EAGP). The EAGP, which is staffed by the Conference and IW, convenes nearly 100 companies, universities, government agencies and nonprofits to work together to increase the scale of the region’s energy industry, create and retain jobs, attract investment and advance our global leadership in environmental sustainability.

The EAGP reflects the broadening geographic scope of Conference activities, which now encompass a 32 county “Greater Pittsburgh Region,” incorporating portions of four states.

An effort is also underway to publicize and support the important role that federally funded research plays in our energy economy. Visit the “Friends of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)” to learn more about how you can help spread the word.

In 2011, the EAGP launched Energy to the Power of Pittsburgh, a regional awareness campaign to communicate about our region’s energy opportunity and highlight the job and career opportunities available in the energy sector.


Featured Video:
Energy to the Power of Pittsburgh

As broadcast on “Our Region’s Business"

Want more information about the Conference's energy-related activities? Contact Ken Zapinski, senior vice president, energy and infrastructure.

What we’ve been saying about energy:

Op-Ed: "Shore up our Electric Grid"
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For 70 years, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development has worked to provide sustainable prosperity and a high quality of life in the Pittsburgh region. The people of our region pioneered and produced many of the technologies that make such prosperity possible, chief among them, a reliable electric grid.

September/October 2014
America's Shaky Power Grid
Kenneth Zapinski, Sr. VP, Energy & Infrastructure, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
BreakingGround magazine

Keeping the Lights On: The Federal Government Lacks a Comprehensive Strategy to Maintain Electric Grid Stability and Reliability.

Energy and innovation: fueling the present, future power of Pittsburgh
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Pittsburgh Business Times

Pittsburgh is a place where energy and innovation come together. It’s been happening here for more than 200 years, and this past week was no exception.

On the short list: Powering Pennsylvania’s economy through energy
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO
, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Pittsburgh Business Times

For a year now, the Pittsburgh region has been attracting global attention for its economic comeback story. From dependence on a single industry 30 years ago, today’s regional economy is diverse and knowledge-driven, with strengths in advanced manufacturing, financial and business services, energy, health care and life sciences, and information and communication technology. Our unemployment rate has been below the national average for four years.

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