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CNX’s Vision for Appalachia: Produce Gas Here, Use it Here – First

Yemi Akinkugbe presents locally-sourced energy strategy to improve energy stability and reduce emissions.

By Positive Energy Hub Staff

Producing and utilizing Appalachia’s natural gas will strengthen the nation’s energy security while creating a local solution to boost economic opportunity and lower emissions, said CNX’s Yemi Akinkugbe during an energy leader discussion on Thursday.

“We produce it here; we use it here – first,” said Akinkugbe, referring to CNX’s energy vision known as “Appalachia First.”

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Appalachia First
A vision for the future that embraces innovation and harnesses the talent, resources, and opportunities of Appalachia to transform our region, nation, and the world.

Featured as a guest speaker at the Appalachia Shale Energy Outlook 2023 series, Akinkugbe detailed the CNX vision, noting that it concentrates on producing natural gas in Appalachia and using it locally to boost manufacturing, lower emissions, and accelerate the nation’s energy security by putting an emphasis on the features that are unique to Appalachia.

These unique features, according to Akinkugbe?

  • Manufacturers can reach about 50 percent of the nation within a day’s drive, making it a transportation hub.
  • Strong rail, road & water infrastructure networks
  • Access to abundant, low-carbon natural gas
  • Ready & skilled workforce

While there is a place for all forms of energy, such as solar in the U.S. Southwest or wind in the Great Plains, forcing Appalachia to transition to wind and solar power is not practical from a cost or reliability standpoint, Akinkugbe said.

Alternatively, CNX believes the region should be encouraged to produce more natural gas, which reduces regional and global emissions while sustaining economic growth. By leveraging a reliable, abundant, and affordable fuel source like natural gas, manufacturers have the competitive edge.

“This is a vision of now,” Akinkugbe said. “We have started to put this into action today.”

Already, tangible investments include CNX’s partnership with the Pittsburgh International Airport to develop natural gas on site and develop sustainable aviation fuels. This generates fewer emissions and reduces operating costs for the airport – part of CNX’s goal to displace higher-emitting sectors with low-carbon feedstock in natural gas to reach decarbonization goals.

Across the river in Ohio, CNX-captured coal mine methane will be feedstock for a new manufacturing facility that produces biodegradable plastic products.

Ultimately, these investments are being made because CNX has seen the potential that natural gas has, what it has done, and what it can still do: revitalize the Appalachian region. ​

“We have the tools to become the center for skilled labor job creation while lowering carbon emissions. And it’s all happening here,” Akinkugbe said.

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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.