Institute of Politics
Frank Dermody Court Gould



Shale Gas Roundtable

Between 2011 and 2013, the Environment Policy Committee, along with the Economic Development Policy Committee devoted its efforts to the work of the Shale Gas Roundtable. The Roundtable was comprised of a high-level, diverse membership including 26 individuals from relevant, interested constituencies throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. In August 2013, two years of study and dialogue culminated in the release of a report setting forth recommendations for the improvement of unconventional oil and gas development in Pennsylvania, including development in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. The recommendations promote increased research, modernization of state regulations, and the building of relationships across sectors to support environmental protection, quality of life, and economic development goals for the region.

Currently, members of the Environment Policy Committee are monitoring the implementation activities of the Roundtable. One of these activities is the creation of an independent shale gas research fund. The board and staff of the Health Effects Institute ( have agreed to lead the Appalachian region through an agenda setting process using their deep experience and expertise in such work. The initiative will result in an effective foundation for future research, communication, and decision-making by providing an independent, priority-based assessment of key research questions and gaps.  The HEI Model of providing credible, impartial science will result in a research plan that effectively answers questions at the center of the controversy over unconventional shale gas and oil development and can be used by regulators, oil and gas developers, environmental and public health experts to better understand the implications of ongoing and future development. Throughout 2014/15, IOP staff will assist HEI in implementing its multi-year research agenda.

Regional Energy Strategy

The committee is currently serving in an advisory capacity to Sustainable Pittsburgh's Regional Energy Strategy project. Most recently, staff attended the December 2014 roll out of the strategy. Next steps are under development.


June 2014 - HEI Special Committee on Unconventional Oil and Gas Development meeting and public workshop, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA

December 2014 - HEI Special Committee on Unconventional Oil and Gas Development meeting and public workshop, Oglebay Resort, Wheeling, WV


The Environment Policy Committee is cochaired by State Representative Frank Dermody and Court Gould, Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Click here for a complete list of members>>>

Our committees are carefully crafted to be balanced and represent a variety of stakeholders. However, we occassionally have spots availabe for members in certain sectors who may be underrepresented on the committee. Please contact Kim Bellora at or by phone at 412-383-5417 if you are interested in serving as a member.


The committee met June 4, 2014 and via conference call agian in the fall. Members should contact Kim Bellora for additional details at or by phone at 412-383-5417.

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