A Q&A with Michael Huwar

Michael Huwar

Michael Huwar Clark Hill

What are the crucial issues that need to be addressed for Pennsylvania to maintain its position as a leading energy-producing state?

Pennsylvania must reinforce its commitment to an All Of The Above approach to meeting the energy needs of the commonwealth and country. Even as our capacity to generate energy from renewable sources grows, regulatory and legislative efforts must support the natural gas industry, of which peoples play a key role by delivering this safe, reliable source of energy to millions in Western Pennsylvania. The growth of natural gas has dramatically reduced emissions locally and nationwide, and can be a vital feedstock for the development of hydrogen energy if given sufficient support and investment from both public and private sectors.

What are some of the ways you are working to make that happen?

Over the last decade, we’ve replaced more than 1,000 miles of aged pipelines with state-of-the-art infrastructure. We plan to continue these upgrades over the next decade, making our distribution systems safer and more reliable while also significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Peoples has also led in developing innovative ways to power Pennsylvania with natural gas. District energy systems, such as combined heat and power (CHP) microgrids and high-efficiency steam projects, can lessen the load on our regional electric grid, reduce energy costs, and lead to lower emissions. Peoples is also expanding our sustainability efforts through projects including a pilot that produces hydrogen energy. We’re studying the best ways to incorporate hydrogen into our pipelines in the future while maintaining high standards for safety, reliability and quality.

If you could help people better understand one thing about energy production, what would it be?

Energy production is not and never will be an all-or-nothing, binary proposition. We have to have multiple sources of energy, backup options for extreme weather and unexpected situations, and continuously innovate for greater efficiency and affordability for consumers. We’re blessed with an abundance of natural gas in our state, and it can power Pennsylvania safely and reliably while keeping rates at a reasonable level for all.