Media Coverage

Former coalition head mines shale experience

January 31, 2014

Source: Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

Kathryn Klaber was the founding president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Pennsylvania shale gas industry's trade association. The Pittsburgh native has 20 years of experience in economic development, environment and consulting, and she's just started a new consultancy, The Klaber Group. She's also an adviser to Babst Calland's energy practice. The Business Times recently spoke with Klaber about her new venture, which is based in Sewickley.

What made you want to go out on your own? It was a transformational time that I was at the Marcellus Shale Coalition. A lot of different parties want to learn more about that and leverage that experience. I've been fortunate, working already with a variety of companies who are hoping to tap my firsthand knowledge about what made us successful in the Marcellus Shale and transfer it to their success.

What kinds of services does The Klaber Group provide? It's a combination of working on some management consulting projects, really helping companies strategically plan around shale development, regionally, nationally and globally. As shale plays are developing, the Marcellus and particularly what we are doing in Pennsylvania's Marcellus, is understood for its significance. Companies want to tap that very firsthand experience to make sure they are doing that right in other locations as well.

How does what you did at the Marcellus Shale Coalition inform that? The Marcellus Shale Coalition has a very specific mandate to help companies develop in the Marcellus and Utica region. The Klaber Group can take those lessons learned and help translate that to other parties. For example, in the United Kingdom, they are right in the middle of establishing their onshore shale development. What the companies are facing there (is) what we did when the Marcellus Shale Coalition was founded.

You're advising companies in the United Kingdom? I spoke at the (London-based independent policy institute) Chatham House in November. It was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand what the United Kingdom is facing. They have very high energy costs and just an emerging shale industry. So that was a great chance to talk to U.S. companies, the U.S. Embassy, as well as British companies and global companies that would like to do in the United Kingdom what they have already done here.

There's a significant environmental component to your firm, too. You've had experience with that in your career. Absolutely. I've worked on those issues firsthand both early in my career and, of course, most recently at the coalition. Getting those regulations right is so important to other entities trying to develop their own shale play, but it's also important to any company working in the downstream area of the industry to take advantage of this resource.

Tell me about your advisory work with Babst Calland. I have worked with the attorneys at Babst Calland for nearly two decades now. As they have had a leadership position in working with the industry on all aspects of Act 13, especially on the municipal zoning issues. I'm able to bring additional experience to what Babst Calland is currently offering its current and future potential clients.

What's the year ahead look like for The Klaber Group? It's going to be busy again. One area is around taking water management from a tactical to a strategic aspect of a company's operations. We think we've got some great tools to help in that important transition. I'd love to talk to you in a year and see how we stand on that.

About The Klaber Group

The Klaber Group provides strategic services to businesses and other institutions as they capitalize on shale development in the United States and abroad, and as they manage the impacts of public sector actions across many industries. Founder Kathryn Klaber, with her Klaber Group colleagues, brings to her clients a wealth of experience in working with businesses on energy, economic and environmental issues at the confluence of the private and public sectors.