Appalachian Basin

Pittsburgh’s Spirit of Energy Innovation Lives On

Pittsburgh is known for energy innovation, which in recent years has centered around the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). In May 2022, PIT announced a partnership with exploration and production company CNX Resources Corporation (CNX) to convert PIT-produced natural gas into alternative fuel, which will result in major emissions reductions for the airport.

With the U.S. transportation sector producing a large portion of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, many industry professionals, such as Charlie Burd, Executive Director, Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia, believe this partnership is a step in the right direction:

“Public-private partnerships like CNX’s with the Pittsburgh Airport are a testament to the foundational role of natural gas in delivering alternative, cleaner fuels. Innovative means to leverage our abundant natural gas resources will continue to reduce emissions across economic and industrial sectors while creating quality jobs for middle-class families.”

Local alliance Pittsburgh Works Together further expressed how critical natural gas is to reducing regional emissions:

“Natural gas can help improve the environment while providing reliable and affordable energy… As we develop technologies that will help us reach carbon-reduction goals, the energy industry and Pennsylvania natural gas will be critical now and in the future.”

The partnership between PIT and CNX extends from a 2015 decision allowing the airport to develop oil and natural gas on-site for the economic benefit of the community. The following year, CNX – under its former name of Consol Energy – brought its Marcellus shale wells into production generating millions of dollars for the airport. This additional revenue allowed PIT to reduce fees for both airlines and customers, as well as plan for a $1.1 billion renovation.

In 2021, PIT began construction of a first-of-its-kind microgrid powered by three types of power generation: traditional electricity, natural gas drilled on-site, and a solar farm. CNX has developed proprietary technology to convert PIT’s natural gas into alternative fuel, such as liquified natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG), to help power the airport with lower emissions than ever before.

David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, proudly supports the new phase of PIT’s partnership with CNX expressing how the industry is continuously working to benefit communities:

“Our industry continues to find new and innovative ways to put our clean and abundant natural gas resources to work in ways that better our lives, improve communities and reduce emissions.”

By working together to bridge natural gas and alternative fuel, PIT and CNX represent the future of energy, which – unsurprisingly – is occurring within the Marcellus Shale.

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