Casey Invites New Energy Secretary to Visit NETL to See First Hand Its Contribution to Natural Gas Development

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) invited new U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to tour Pittsburgh’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and see firsthand the important role that it plays in natural gas development. A personal visit by the Secretary of Energy would showcase the region’s skilled workforce and history of making important energy advancements.

“Natural gas has been and will continue to be a major source of job creation and economic growth in Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey said. “Secretary Moniz has a unique opportunity to focus the Energy Department on natural gas development. I’m urging him to make natural gas a priority because it will help wean the country off foreign oil and create jobs for Pennsylvanians.”

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of DOE’s national laboratory system, is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). NETL supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.

NETL implements a broad spectrum of energy and environmental research and development (R&D) programs that will return benefits for generations to come:

  • Enabling domestic coal, natural gas, and oil to economically power our Nation’s homes, industries, businesses, and transportation …
  • While protecting our environment and enhancing our energy independence.

NETL has expertise in coal, natural gas, and oil technologies, contract and project management, analysis of energy systems, and international energy issues.

In addition to research conducted onsite, NETL’s project portfolio includes R&D conducted through partnerships, cooperative research and development agreements, financial assistance, and contractual arrangements with universities and the private sector. Together, these efforts focus a wealth of scientific and engineering talent on creating commercially viable solutions to national energy and environmental problems.

The text of Senator Casey’s letter can be found below:

The Honorable Ernest J. Moniz


United States Department of Energy

1000 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington DC 20585

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Congratulations on your confirmation by the United States Senate to the position of Secretary of the Department of Energy. As you take on the important responsibility of overseeing the Department of the Energy, I want to highlight a few ways in which the Department of Energy (DOE) plays an important role in the lives of Pennsylvanians and the national, economic and energy security of the United States.

Pennsylvania contains an incredible portfolio of diverse energy sources ranging from traditional fossil fuels to renewable and alternative energy sources and encompasses all aspects of these resources, from production to fuel transportation and storage, through consumption. Historically and currently, Pennsylvania’s native energy resources play an important role in the prosperity and lives of Pennsylvanians and the national, economic and energy security of the United States. 

Since 2008, oil and gas extraction employment and annual gross production rates have doubled in Pennsylvania, directly as a result of the Marcellus field. Natural gas from shale is posed to be a global energy game changer.

Sustained natural gas development can continue to create Pennsylvania jobs, strengthen our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The well-maintained development of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas resources through advanced technology research, development and demonstration could enhance domestic natural gas supplies and maintain available supplies for electricity producing power plants, industrial growth and transportation options well into the future. DOE has a very vital role to play in these types of activities to further the shale revolution.  I have introduced legislation to help train workers for jobs in the natural gas industry and to help businesses and local governments transition to natural gas fueled vehicles. 

Other Pennsylvania resource notables include:

  • The fourth largest producer of coal, and the only producer of anthracite coal;
  • The second largest producer of nuclear-powered electricity in the Nation, as well as home to the DOE-owned Bettis Atomic Power Lab;
  • Renewable and alternative energy companies that produce electricity and fuels, as well as numerous manufacturers that produce products that make renewable energy; and
  • Energy efficiency and innovative businesses that cover the gamut from demand response to energy storage to weatherization.

DOE also retains important resources in Pennsylvania. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is DOE’s only federally owned and operated lab and hosts facilities in Pittsburgh (as well as Morgantown, WV) with over 670 federal and support employees in Pennsylvania. The overall NETL operations provide $200 million of economic impacts to both these local communities. NETL has provided a century of energy innovation and plays a key role as the only fossil fuel-focused laboratory in the national system and leads the nation in carbon capture research.  I encourage you to visit the NETL laboratory and see how they are actively engaged with and contributing to the local and national industries through their research, development and deployment of sound Natural Gas and fossil energy technologies. 

Furthermore, the Navy Yard in Philadelphia has been the headquarters for DOE’s Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster since 2011.  This vital research, development and deployment opportunity will provide the nation with proven energy-saving, whole-building-system solutions and integrates dynamic performance-driven organizations including major research universities, global industrial firms, and national laboratories from across the United States.

I look forward to working with you in the future as the Department of Energy has a large role in the Commonwealth on the issues featured in this letter and all those of importance to Pennsylvania.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator


Press Contact

April Mellody 202-228-6367