Iowa NSF EPSCoR Energy Policy Seminar Series

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Date/Time:Monday, 04 May 2015 from 12:00 pm to 1:20 pm
Location:1306 Elings Hall
Channel:Bioeconomy Institute
Categories:Lectures Live Green
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"Costs and Benefits of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction and Exports: Life Cycle GHGs, Air Emissions and Road Impacts," Constantine Samaras, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh.

The increased availability of economically recoverable U.S. natural gas from shale has initiated policy debates on economic and environmental issues associated with unconventional gas production, use, and exports. Many states and communities are reaping the benefits of increased economic activity associated with unconventional natural gas production. At the same time, governments are experiencing external costs that are not directly covered from tax revenues or impact fees on oil and gas production. Objective quantitative research on these topics can inform federal, state, and local energy policy decision making. This talk will highlight three recent research efforts surrounding unconventional natural gas: 1) monetized regional life cycle air quality challenges and benefits associated with Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania 2) monetized infrastructure damages to state roadways associated with Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania and 3) the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and costs associated with U.S. liquefied natural gas exports, considering additional uncertainties in the life cycle process and addressing industrial heating as an additional end use for the natural gas abroad. This research informs a more comprehensive discussion on the benefits and challenges of unconventional natural gas in the U.S.

Costa Samaras is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research spans energy, climate change, infrastructure and defense analysis. Costa analyzes how energy technology and infrastructure system designs affect energy use and national security, resiliency to climate change impacts, economic and innovation outcomes, and life cycle environmental externalities. He is an affiliated faculty member in Carnegie Mellon's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and the College of Engineering's Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program. Costa is also an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation and a Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He served on a National Academies Committee evaluating the Department of Energy's advanced transportation energy research portfolio, serves on the Transportation Research Board's Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies Committee, is an Associate Editor of the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate. From 2009 to 2014 he was a RAND Corporation researcher, most recently as a Senior Engineer. From 2008 to 2009 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Climate Decisionmaking Center at Carnegie Mellon. From 1999 to 2004 he was an engineer working on several multibillion-dollar infrastructure megaprojects in New York, and also worked on the rebuilding of the Subway Line underneath of the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Costa received a joint Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy and from Carnegie Mellon, a M.P.A. in Public Policy from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University. He also is a LEED Accredited Professional with a building design and construction specialty. Costa tweets about energy and climate topics at @CostaSamaras.