This week, ASCE’s inaugural Shale Energy Engineering Conference was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It included three days of plenary panels, technical sessions and a visit from the Commonwealth’s Governor, Tom Corbett.
In his remarks, Governor Corbett reminded the audience that 10 years ago the United States was an importer of natural gas, and today, those pipelines are literally being reserved- with Pennsylvania leading a movement to export gas abroad. Gov. Corbett went so far as saying the rapidly growing natural gas industry in the United States “can change the geopolitics of the world.” But the Governor also issued a stark warning that engineers must be stewards of the environment saying “we look to you to be the guardians of how to do it right.”
ASCE President-Elect, Bob Stevens said the Conference allows for diverse stakeholders to come together and focus on “growing working relationships across the industry,” specifically pointing out that there were multiple organizations that create shale extraction standards presenting together, including the American Petroleum Institute and National Council of State Legislators.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition estimates energy companies have invested more than $500 million on road upgrades in the region, proving that our infrastructure future cannot be solely focused on one sector over another. America’s energy future is in the hands of many, including civil engineers, and it is a responsibility Conference attendees showed that they relish.