The common cause agenda in the Great Lakes--the intersection of Canada-United States trade, energy, environment, and society in the great lakes basin.

Author:Anderson, Dianne
Position:PROCEEDINGS OF THE CANADA-UNITED STATES LAW INSTITUTE CONFERENCE on An Example of Cooperation and Common Cause: Enhancing Canada-United States Security and Prosperity Through the Great Lakes and North American Trade: Cleveland, Ohio April 2-4, 2009

Session Chair--Dianne Anderson

United States Speaker--Mark Shanahan


MS. ANDERSON: Good afternoon. I am Dianne Anderson from Case Western Reserve University. (1) I am Executive Director of the Energy Institute, (2) which has just commenced over the course of the last year. (3) We have about over $6 million of funding from the Cleveland Foundation and from the local Maltz Family Foundation to take an energy institute in this region forward. (4) To meet with a Canadian and United States organization that sits here on the Great Lakes, this is a great opportunity for me, and in a moment I will introduce to you Mark Shanahan, who will speak.

I wanted just to spend a couple minutes on what the Energy Institute is about because this is a favorable opportunity to do that. As a university, we clearly have that traditional role of research and education. In those roles with energy we see a lot of opportunity right now to really deepen 100 to 150 professors and researchers that we have at the university and their work. Yet we also see a role, which is probably an augmentation of the traditional role at a university, in economic development. I like to think of it as all boats rise with the rising tide, and the opportunity to think about how the research can actually drive commercialization and economic development in the region, in the state, and in the Great Lakes as well as how the education can create what we would call in the energy field the talent for the future to solve the problems of the future. It is an additional role for us at Case Western Reserve, and it really is also one of the key focuses for the Great Lakes Energy Institute, is to think about how we are able to do that.

I think we have a real opportunity if we look around the Great Lakes and think about what sits in front of us. One of those opportunities is in the port location that we have. If you look at this port versus many in the United States, we have not only the waterways that are necessary to Europe, including the Saint Lawrence Seaway, but we also have the infrastructure that has been developed, and we have infrastructure programs that I know the Port of Cleveland is working with the State of Ohio to develop even further. (5) This is the same port that fifty to one hundred years ago when the oil business started, it started in this region of the country, and it is still that same port location today. (6) I happened to start with Sohio Oil and worked for BP for twenty-five years until this last September. (7)

We also have, interestingly, renewables. If you look around the Great Lakes region and you look around the state of Ohio, major research is going on in almost every type of renewable energy. (8) So, if I take the state of Ohio, certainly in the northwest portion of the state, a lot of solar development at University of Toledo (9) and the largest North American solar manufacturer, Infrasolar. (10) We have biofuels and an agriculture school at Ohio State University that is extremely strong. (11) We recognized when I was in BP that working on biofuel development and biodiesel development is extremely strong. We have low carbon coal technology at Ohio University (12) and strewn through the other universities in the state. (13) We have wind development that we here at Case Western University are taking a look at very heavily, including development of a wind research center and certainly usage of Lake Erie. (14)

I see that later today there is a breakout session about the use of the Great Lakes. If you take a look at the use of the Great Lakes in other areas that are in energy development, carbon sequestration is a main area of study, and there are a couple large salt mines in Lake Erie that may or may not have potential for extremely substantial carbon sequestration. (15) Furthermore, we have a tremendous number of the very early oil wells that were drilled in this country in this region. (16)

So I would say that in terms of curriculum we have extreme potential. There are some things that could be looked at as a problem, but we also could turn into potential, and one of those is we have the largest emissions, in the top five, in the state of Ohio as well as the state of Indiana and the state of Pennsylvania in almost any league table that you look at. (17) Whether it is socks or knocks or overall emissions, we always rank quite highly. In any kind of carbon tax or a carbon cost structure, that will be an area that could be looked upon as a problem, but I would challenge as well could be looked upon as an opportunity because our ability to come together in this state and this region because we will have something that we need to solve together is really an opportunity for us. It is created because of the large electricity consumption. I think Ohio is sixth in the country most recently, (18) and most of that is manufactured or generated through coal. (19) So it is an opportunity.

I was just listening to a radio program probably a month ago that talked about the top twenty companies, industry participants before World War II. After World War II, none of the twenty were still in the top twenty. (20) So I would say as a region when we look at how we work together, we have that same opportunity to think of ourselves right now on one hand as having high emissions, having a job creation extreme need, but I would also say on the other hand the ability for us to come together as well as the ability to look at the major institutes and infrastructure we have in this region.

The universities are tremendously strong. University of Michigan is one we work quite closely with, (21) and obviously Wisconsin is doing a lot of work in wind and biofuels. (22) We all sit here in this Great Lakes region. I would also say that the energy policy that comes together, the RPS strategies and such, are certainly directly in the direction of what is necessary to start to get after some of these. It allows me, as I go into an introduction of Mark Shanahan, to think about the potential that we have and the people that we have that are surrounding us as we head into this next phase.

So with that, I will start where I finished with Mark. He is a Ph.D. graduate of Case Western Reserve University, (23) so we are proud of that, being a part here of the university and on campus. I believe I have heard, though, that he was such a great student that the Ph.D. program he was in has actually been cancelled just after he left, (24) so they could not even keep the program going once he graduated from it he was so strong.

Notably for me, Mark is the Governor's Energy Adviser. (25) For this region to have the skill, you will hear a lot of areas that he touches energy, but it is a strong position for us here in the state of Ohio. In 1989 he became the Director and Executive Director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, (26) which also has a clean air resource center. (27) He in these roles is responsible for coordinating the State agency's energy policy as well as for looking from the Governor to significantly reduce our state energy consumption, and as well has been instrumental in the RPS that the state of Ohio has put into place.

Interestingly, I noted that Mark oversees the work for the Ohio Coal Development Office, (28) which takes a look at low carbon coal technology deployment and development, which will be a huge area of development for the next few years to come, and is Ohio's Clean Air Ombudsman for small businesses in the state. (29) He also is an active member of the Air & Waste Management Association. (30) I think in total when you take a look at these and think of the energy work that we are doing, we are delighted to have not only the talent, but the interest of Mark, tied to this energy.

So as I said, in finishing, Mark earned his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, (31) has an MA with Honors from University of Pennsylvania, (32) and as well, his degree from Boston College where he was both Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. (33) I welcome Mark Shanahan.

(1) See Great Lakes Energy Institute, Contact Us, (last visited Dec. 17, 2009).

(2) Id.

(3) See Tom Breckenridge, Case Western Reserve University Builds Energy Institute from Ground Up, PLAIN DEALER, Apr. 6, 2009, available at dealer/index.ssf?./base/cuyahoga/1239006734110030.xml&coll=2.

(4) See Heidi Cool, First Professorship in Energy Innovation at Case Western Reserve University Endowed by Maltz Family Foundation, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY NEWS CENTER, Mar. 11, 2008, available at

(5) See generally Cleveland--Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Project Highlights, http :// (last visited Dec. 31, 2009) (giving information on infrastructure projects like the Cleveland Clinic Research Building, Heidtman Steel Products, MetroHealth, and others; the Ohio Auditor of State oversees the financing of projects).

(6) See generally Cleveland--Cuyahoga County Port Authority, About the Cleveland Port Authority, .cfm (last visited Dec. 31, 2009) (noting the history and origin of the Cleveland Port Authority).

(7) See Kimyette Finley, Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation at Case Western Reserve University names first executive director, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY NEWS CENTER, Oct. 1, 2008, (last visited Dee. 25, 2009).

(8) See generally Green Energy Ohio, Home, ?pageId=3 (last visited Dec. 31, 2009) (noting the different types of alternative power and developments in Ohio.),

(9) See, e.g., John Chavez, Xunlight Makes first Delivery: University of Toledo Gets Shipment of Solar Modules, THE BLADE, Aug. 25...

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