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Billions of Federal Dollars Waiting for Clean Energy Projects in Appalachia

Billions of Federal Dollars Waiting for Clean Energy Projects in Appalachia

CANONSBURG, Pa. – Billions of federal dollars awaiting clean energy-related projects is just one of the topics to be covered during a conference in Southpointe, a business park in Canonsburg, PA, on Thursday, April 18. The Spring 2024 Appalachian Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) III Conference will tackle topics with presentations led by industry leaders on the expanding renewable natural gas sector.

Among the slated speakers is attorney Samantha Phillips Beers, who recently joined Steptoe & Johnson PLLC as Of Counsel in early 2024 after serving more than three decades with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Drawing on her strength and knowledge in federal programs, Phillips Beers is well-equipped to bring together public and private sectors to grow economic development opportunities across the Appalachian region.

Funding opportunities brought by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 aim to rebuild infrastructure, expand access to broadband internet and Wi-Fi, and bring cleaner water to communities. One major funding goal is to move human and animal waste from being an environmental issue to utilizing it to produce clean-burning emissions with RNG.

Though grants and low-interest loans are readily available for qualified projects, a lull in applications has left those at the federal level frustrated.

“I am looking to open the application floodgates,” said Phillips Beers, who plans to serve as a conduit between project developers and federal regulators. Phillips Beers adds that her move from government to the private sector was due to the value she can provide. “I felt I could add more value to the situation from outside the government, but I have maintained all my contacts within the ‘Fed Family’ who are ready to fund projects.”

She is one of many speakers looking forward to bringing together industry, regulators, and developers during the April 18 conference. The one-day program will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe, just miles south of Pittsburgh. The RNG and Shale Directories serve as conference organizers.

“Navigating the federal funding landscape in the rapidly evolving energy sector is complex. Having an insider view is invaluable,” said Tom Gellrich, CEO & Founder, RNG Directory.

Producing RNG from human, animal, and food waste, and even landfill trash, is a win-win situation for all involved, according to Phillips Beers. “Using these waste products, you eliminate an environmental problem while you produce RNG at a time when America is running out of power,” Phillips Beers said. “Here’s the solution as we connect energy and the environment. The time (for action) is now.”