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California Environmental Journalist Questions CNX’s Ready-Now Climate Solution

CNX educates well-known and self-identified biased writer on innovative approach to capturing and utilizing waste mine methane emissions

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By Positive Energy Hub Staff


In the spirit of Radical Transparency, we thought it appropriate to disclose a recent email exchange between CNX and a representative from a California-based environmental media site called “Capital and Main.”

This outlet, funded and advised by deep-pocketed anti-natural gas foundations including the Schmidt Family Foundation (Google), progressive organizations, and renewable energy money interests, is known for its deeply biased coverage of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. The reporter’s own X page, in fact, shows the blatant bias and disregard for principled, down-the-middle journalism that we all expect and deserve.

As is clear from the initial email pasted below, the outlet apparently intends to publish a piece questioning CNX’s groundbreaking partnership with Pennsylvania involving real-time disclosure of environmental monitoring data, as well as CNX’s advocacy efforts around implementing policies in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act necessary to capturing waste methane and benefitting the Appalachian region.

Let’s be absolutely clear: waste coal mine methane accounts for 10% of U.S. methane emissions, and CNX is offering the only tangible, ready-now solution to mitigating the unabated waste methane and converting it into usable, ultra-low carbon intensity, clean hydrogen. If you care about climate change, you will necessarily be a proponent of policies incentivizing the capture of waste methane emissions.

Yet, for Capital & Main and the radical environmental groups backing the operation, this innovative climate and pro-jobs solution isn’t good enough (perhaps, some of their funders see it as a threat to their Chinese/solar investments).

Of course, whether it’s climate-focused policies or responsible, transparent natural gas production, CNX is proud to lead in a manner that breaks down traditional “us and them” narratives by partnering with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing real-time environmental monitoring to establish the best available independent evidence on responsible gas production, and advocating that captured methane is a lower-carbon intensive feedstock than wind or solar. ​

We hope that Capital & Main views these actions through the journalistic lens of independence, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability, rather than tiresome and divisive agenda-based reporting. ​

We do believe that a natural gas company that voluntarily posts live third-party air monitoring data from its well sites, or one that asks the Treasury Department to adopt a policy incentivizing the elimination of 10% of U.S. methane emissions and, in so doing, helps to create a viable hydrogen industry, is newsworthy. ​

Unfortunately, from the questions below, it appears as though this California-based outlet believes that the breaking news is an Appalachian company donating to bipartisan Appalachian policy makers to advance policy that helps the people of Appalachia. ​

Rather than play the game of responding privately and allowing the media outlet to cherry-pick facts/quotes that fit its desired narrative, we’re publicly posting the full exchange along with links to relevant facts and source documents; all of which were, are, and will continue to be publicly available. ​

CNX is proud to break from the traditional narratives of liberal/conservative, energy/environment, business/labor, corporation/media. We will not shy away from our commitment to Radical Transparency and our mission to put Appalachia First. ​ ​



From: Aiello, Brian <BrianAiello@cnx.com> ​
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2024 1:02 PM
To: Audrey Carleton <email removed by Positive Energy Hub staff>
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Capital & Main media request: 45V hydrogen tax credit

Hi Audrey – thanks for reaching out regarding our work on the 45V Hydrogen Production Tax Credit.

We view the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives, with appropriate implementation guidance, as critical tools enabling the Appalachian region to lead the nation and catalyze a local hydrogen economy. Our position on the 45V Credit is no mystery and well-documented.

By capturing and utilizing waste mine methane for clean hydrogen production, we can mitigate a significant climate threat that currently lacks incentives and accounts for approximately 10% of U.S. methane emissions. As outlined by a coalition of local business and labor leaders, capturing waste mine methane emissions can catalyze jobs and economic growth in the region like few other opportunities before us. This is an absolute climate and economic winner advocated for by elected leaders from across the nation. We're optimistic the 45V Tax Credit guidance will align with this ready-to-deploy solution.

Specifically, CNX submitted a 24-page letter to the Internal Revenue Service outlining our position and the opportunity for the region. In addition to CNX, a diverse group of stakeholders and elected officials have weighed in on the importance of 45V. Supporting this policy is a no-brainer for regional public officials, communities, labor, industry, and environmentalists. It would spark development in a region that needs a spark, it would reduce methane emissions, and create jobs.

Beyond our official 45V comment letter and oral testimony to the Department of Treasury, CNX has published a variety of materials on the Company’s Positive Energy Hub transparently detailing our position and the opportunity for the region. Our CEO has also analyzed the matter on his weekly podcast, and numerous social media posts from Nick and the Company have described our thinking on policies to encourage the coal mine methane capture. ​

In terms of the Company’s political giving, CNX discloses such activities in our annual Corporate Sustainability Report and acts in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. We view our political engagements and contributions as an important tool in our mission to ensure that public policy issues around energy, environmental protection, development, and jobs in Appalachia are openly debated based on sound math, science, and transparent data.

Operating in politically diverse states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio, CNX has and will continue to contribute to organizations and candidates on both sides of the traditional aisle. CNX will continue to support organizations and candidates who proudly champion and advocate for an energy future that makes sense for the people of Appalachia and future generations, regardless of party affiliation.

We’re excited about the opportunity that is facing the energy industry and the region when it comes to producing ultra-low carbon intensity hydrogen using captured waste methane emissions.

Our goals are simple: help clean up the environment by reducing methane emissions while creating jobs and opportunity in some of the most disadvantaged regions of the nation in the process. This is a win-win that’s coalescing elected officials, labor unions, businesses, and environmental groups of all stripes.

If there is news here in terms of CNX’s position on the 45V Tax Credit, our advocacy on behalf of the Appalachian region, or our political support, it is certainly of the old variety.

Again, thanks for reaching out and providing us a platform to continue to tell this important story for the Appalachian region.


Brian Aiello

CNX | Vice President – External Relations

CNX Center | 1000 Horizon Vue Drive | Canonsburg, PA 15317



From: Audrey Carleton <email removed by Positive Energy Hub staff> ​
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2024 2:50 PM
To: Aiello, Brian <BrianAiello@cnx.com>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Capital & Main media request: 45V hydrogen tax credit


Dear Brian,

I hope this email finds you well. My name is Audrey Carleton, and I’m a journalist with Capital & Main. I’m working on a story on the federal 45V tax credit for hydrogen and I wanted to reach out and see if you might be willing and able to offer comment for this story. 

I have a handful of questions. See below: 

1 - How would you define CNX’s stance on the 45V tax credit -- what would you all like to see come out of the tax credit?

2 - More specifically, how would you define CNX's stance on the GREET model? What would CNX like to see the GREET model for 45V include? 

3 - My understanding is that, in October of 2023, while CNX was negotiating the terms of a partnership with the Shapiro administration (announced Nov. 2, 2023), you sent the administration an explanation of CNX’s goals for the 45V tax credit and urged their support in advocating for these goals in D.C. Can CNX offer any additional information, or context for this conversation, or the extent to which the Shapiro administration advocated for these goals with federal regulators? 

4 - ​ Environmentalists have criticized that the demands of the methane industry for 45V could potentially derail the nation’s climate goals by furthering reliance on fossil fuels without meaningfully cutting emissions. Would CNX like to comment on this? 

5 - Capital & Main has identified a handful of political donations from CNX that I am wondering if you would like to offer comment on. The first was for $75,000, sent to the Democratic Governors Association in 2022 -- that same year, the Democratic Governors Association sent Josh Shapiro more than $7-million. Then, in September of 2023, CNX sent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin $5,000. Two months later, Senator Manchin signed onto a letter urging the Treasury department to not to change the GREET model in its 45V rulemaking, while allowing for accounting practices like carbon negative gas credits, which CNX has also endorsed. 

Would CNX like to comment on this? ​ 

6 - Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

Many thanks for your time in handling this request. To give you a sense of timing, my deadline is tomorrow EOD - I would welcome any input you might be able to offer. 

Many thanks, and all the best,



Audrey J. Carleton

Reporter | Capital and Main 

Visit me at my: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Pronouns: She, her, hers


45V GREET Public Comments_April 2024.pdf

PDF - 118 Kb





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A CNX news hub highlighting all aspects of our Appalachia First vision. Subscribe for insights on energy innovation, advocacy, and community engagement across the region.