GTI Energy president: Take back the energy conversation

July 24, 2023 By    

Prior to two days of meetings in U.S. House and Senate buildings for its Propane Days advocacy event, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) held Q&As and panel discussions involving energy leaders and trade allies.

Paula Gant of GTI Energy emphasized the need for many pathways to a low-carbon future. (Photo by <em>LP Gas</em> staff)

Paula Gant of GTI Energy emphasized the need for many pathways to a low-carbon future. (Photo by LP Gas staff)

Discussions included Paula Gant of GTI Energy, Michael Rush of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and a panel about the threat to gas stoves.

Gant, president and CEO of GTI Energy, joined NPGA’s Ben Nussdorf during a “fireside chat.”

GTI Energy is an Illinois-based research and training organization that works to scale solutions in the energy transition by leveraging gases, liquids, infrastructure and efficiency.

Gant, whose experience includes leadership roles at the Department of Energy, the American Gas Association and Duke Energy Corp., focused on systems thinking (how everything new must fit with current systems), collaboration as well as innovation.

“The challenge is – how do we maintain order while also pursuing disruption?” she says.

Gant spoke about GTI’s Cool LPG technology, which converts biogas sourced from landfills, agricultural facilities, wastewater treatment plants and potentially municipal solid waste into renewable liquid fuels for cooking, heating and transportation. GTI has partnered with other propane industry stakeholders on this as well as other renewable projects.

“We’re excited for the potential of this application because we see lowering the carbon intensity of propane in established markets to maintain a long-term pathway for demand,” says Gant, still recognizing the many pathways needed to create the low-carbon and low-cost energy systems of the future.

Gant addressed gas bans and calls by many in today’s energy discussion to move beyond fossil fuels and run the world on renewables, but she says those discussions often take place without accounting for solutions other than wind and solar.

“It’s oversimplification of how these systems really work,” she says.

It’s best to step back from reacting to these inflammatory conversations and encourage people to move into different conversations about the future of energy, Gant says.

“In recent years, we’ve let other people tell us it’s not our story, it’s not our role because they have other, oversimplified ways of getting there,” she says. “I encourage you to take back the conversation with the view that you want to create energy systems of the future with everybody else. So, let’s discuss how we get there.”

NPGA President and CEO Steve Kaminski welcomed Rush, senior vice president of safety and operations at the AAR, a railroad policy, research, standards and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry.

Rush defended the safety record of the railroads despite the attention given to the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The incident spurred congressional leaders in the House and Senate to introduce legislation aiming to ensure safety on the nation’s railroads.

“If we’re going to make changes, technology is the answer,” he says. “We’re a pretty safe industry; we need to get safer.”

NPGA brought the gas stove issue to the forefront a day before Propane Days attendees led discussions about consumer energy choice on Capitol Hill. The association’s Bruce Swiecicki and Kate Gaziano moderated a panel discussion featuring trade allies with interest in fighting proposed mandates to gas stoves and other appliances.

Berkeley is a victory, but it’s not the end of the war,” says Matthew Agen, chief regulatory counsel of the American Gas Association, referencing the California city where a federal appeals court overturned the nation’s first gas ban earlier this year.

Maria Ramos, an analyst with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, also presented to attendees.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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