Author Archives: Kathryn Clay

Kathryn Clay

About Kathryn Clay

Dr. Kathryn Clay is the Vice President for Policy Strategy at the American Gas Association. In this role, Kathryn drives thought-leadership on natural gas utility demand growth and engages in stakeholder outreach to achieve the industry’s policy and growth objectives. Previously, Kathryn managed the joint AGA-ANGA Drive Natural Gas Initiative and AGA’s policy and regulatory efforts around natural gas vehicles. She is also the Interim Executive Director for NGVAmerica and has served as Executive Director of the American Gas Foundation since 2011. Previously, Dr. Clay was the Vice President of Research and Technology Policy for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. She served as a member of the professional staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where she worked to develop the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. She was also centrally involved in the development and passage of legislation (the America COMPETES Act of 2007) to promote federal investment in science and the development of innovative technologies. Dr. Clay has also served in positions with the staff of the Energy Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, and as a research fellow in the Alternate Fuels Vehicle Division of Ford Motor Company. She is an adjunct professor of physics at Georgetown University, as well as the co-founder of the University’s Program on Science in the Public Interest. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Kathryn Clay Natural Gas Vehicle Research & Development Workshop

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office is hosting a workshop for natural gas vehicle (NGV) stakeholders on July 25 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.  The purpose of the workshop is to understand and prioritize the research needs necessary to increase the efficiency and reduce emissions of medium- and heavy-duty NGVs.

The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill recommended that up to $15 million be appropriated to DOE in FY17 for medium- and heavy-duty on-road natural gas engine research and development.  One of the goals of this workshop is to inform DOE about a Funding Opportunity Announcement that is expected later this year.

NGVAmerica has been working closely with DOE on organizing the workshop and has provided detail of its members’ top research and development (R&D) priorities. The top R&D priorities as agreed to by the NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee are as follows:

  • Improve natural gas engine efficiency
  • Increase the development of 0.02 g/b-hp NOx  certified engines
  • Develop lower emission engines and after-treatment systems
  • Develop and/or integrate smart mobility technologies for communication between CNG fueling stations and onboard vehicle fuel systems
  • Develop technologies for cost reduction of mid-scale CNG fueling compression equipment
  • Develop small scale liquefied natural gas production
  • Develop advanced methods of delivering consistent natural gas quality

NGVAmerica will be participating in the workshop at NREL and will share the results with its membership and the American Gas Association. Please feel free to contact Dan Bowerson (dbowerson@ngvamerica.org), Director of Technology & Development, with any questions on the workshop or R&D priorities.

Posted in NGVAmerica, vehicles | Leave a comment

Kathryn Clay Our Focus on Safety Benefits the Environment

This article originally appeared on the SXSW Eco website as a special guest blog post by AGA Vice President of Policy Strategy Kathryn Clay.

SXSW Eco logoAccording to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the pipeline network that carries natural gas to more than 177 million Americans is the safest energy delivery system in the nation. Even with the historically excellent performance of our distribution network, safety is our top priority and natural gas utilities remain vigilant and committed to continually upgrading this crucial infrastructure. Natural gas utilities are regulated by state utility commissions which are charged with balancing the need for investments in infrastructure to provide safe and reliable service with ensuring affordable energy bills for customers and fair returns on equity that will attract capital at reasonable costs.

Over the course of the last three decades, natural gas utilities have installed modern plastic pipes at a rate of 30,000 miles per year and installed catholically protected coated steel mains at 1,500 miles per year, both connecting new customers and upgrading existing pipeline infrastructure. Pipes that may no longer be fit for service are being replaced with ones made from more modern materials. This concerted effort by America’s natural gas utilities to upgrade and modernize our nation’s pipeline network to enhance safety has contributed to a declining trend in emissions from natural gas distribution systems.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 19th Annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks released in April 2014, only 0.24 percent of produced natural gas is emitted from the delivery systems operated by local natural gas utilities. In fact, natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems have dropped 22 percent since 1990. Moreover, nearly 90 percent of the emissions declines from distribution systems since that year are due to pipeline replacements.

The effort to modernize infrastructure by replacing pipe no longer fit for service will continue to grow. Of the 38 states that have accelerated infrastructure replacement mechanisms, 9 states and the District of Columbia were approved in the past two years. As those programs ramp up, we will see more investment in enhancing safety and further emissions declines.

Posted in energy, environment, Natural Gas, safety, utility | Comments Off on Our Focus on Safety Benefits the Environment