Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy

Who We Are


PSE provides a multi-disciplinary approach to identifying reasonable, healthy, and sustainable energy options for everyone. We will help empower citizens and policymakers by organizing and supplying objective, evidence-based information.


Energy extraction, transportation and utilization produce an impact upon the climate, ecosystems and human health.

Novel processes for the exploitation of energy resources require an evidence based evaluation using the best available scientific information, or, failing that, the design of rigorous, unbiased studies to establish their true costs in advance of widespread application.

The decision to proceed with any energy extraction should be based upon a democratic process taking into account risk management, the precautionary principle and informed consent.

Full, life-cycle analysis of energy extraction requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving a range of expertise from a diverse group of qualified individuals.

Proposals for energy extraction frequently have disproportional impact upon the disadvantaged, disenfranchised and geographically or economically vulnerable.

Proposals for new methods of energy development frequently are justified in terms of providing a solution to an energy shortfall during transition from dependence on traditional energy resources to future sustainable forms of energy production.

The assumptions that there are transitional solutions to energy by the extraction of ever decreasing resources of conventional fuels using novel methods or unexploited reserves requires critical evaluation.

Scientists, engineers and physicians are in a unique position to evaluate, analyze and study the implications of proposed energy resource extraction.

There is a need for alternative proposals for meeting global energy needs based upon contemporary methods of conservation and more efficient use, and currently available methods of sustainable energy production.


Unconventional gas development from shales using high volume hydraulic fracturing continues to grow rapidly in many states across the country and is beginning to unfold, in its earliest stages, in New York. As an independent organization, PSE grew out of conversations among four prominent professionals - physician Adam Law, scientists Robert Howarth and Stanley Scobie, and engineer Anthony Ingraffea about the dearth of unbiased information regarding this practice.

While unconventional gas development was the initial focus, the group intends to serve as a resource for both the public and policy-makers regarding healthy, sustainable energy at large. In addition to unconventional gas development, PSE hopes to incorporate expert analysis with regard to mountaintop removal coal mining, unconventional oil mining (tar sands), and renewable energy. Unconventional gas development from shales highlights the need for a prominent, multidisciplinary team of individuals who are committed to identifying and qualifying the best energy options. PSE recognizes the need for transparency and evidence based information regarding the practice’s environmental and public health implications. The team is distinguished by the rigor with which it analyzes and disseminates data and claims on all sides of the issue, filling the need for an objective, scientific resource in the midst of considerable industry bias and misinformation.

The issue of unconventional gas development is particularly significant in New York because unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, the practice has yet to affect the state. New York is privileged with an effective moratorium on high volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing until the findings of an EPA study become available. Along with an active citizenry and a major water supply, the effective moratorium puts New York in a crucial position that can influence policy and regulation on both regional and international levels. The outcomes and concerns of unconventional gas development from shales are not unique to New York, and PSE intends for its work to inform policy in all regions and all regulatory phases. As a resource comprised of a multidisciplinary team of experts, including scientists, engineers, and physicians, PSE is in a position to help New York lead the way in the transition to a sustainable future.

Board of Directors:


Robert W. Howarth, PhD
Named one of the 250 most-cited environmental scientists in the world, Dr. Howarth is the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology at Cornell University and a Faculty Fellow at Cornell's Center for a Sustainable Future. He directs the University's Agriculture, Energy & Environment Program, and is also an Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Howarth is on the Board of Directors of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and is presently co-chairing its Committee on Energy & Environment. Howarth's research interests have included how wetlands interact with coastal waters, the ecological effects of oil spills, nutrient pollution and nutrient cycles in both lakes and coastal marine ecosystems, and human alteration of biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur) at regional to global scales. Dr. Howarth also chairs the International SCOPE Biofuels Project, is a Past President of the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation, and represents the State of New York on the science and technical advisory committee of the Chesapeake Bay Program. In 2006, he presented an invited briefing on coastal water quality at the White House to the President's Science Advisor and staff of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He has edited six books and published nearly 200 research papers.

Recent Work Related to Healthy Energy:

2012 Lectures, debates, briefings, and other oral presentations:
Jan. 9: plenary speaker at Duke University symposium on shale gas
Jan. 17: BC Sustainable Association Webinar
Jan. 19: telenews event w/ Ingraffea on follow-up paper for Climate Change
Jan. 25: National Academy of Sciences annual meeting, transportation research board, Washington, DC
Mar. 2: Sigma Xi Lecture at Cornell University
Mar. 2: briefing to Dan Lamb, running for US Congress
Mar. 3: telephone lecture to North American Climate Change Allianc

Howarth, R. W., and A. Ingraffea. In press. Shale gas: Time to go slow. World Energy Monitor, World Energy Forum. United Nations. New York, NY.
Howarth, R. W., R. Santoro, and A. Ingraffea. 2012. Venting and leakage of methane from shale gas development: Comparison of emission estimates and consequences for global warming: response to Cathles, et al. Climatic Change.

Howarth, R., W., and A. Ingraffea. 2011. Should fracking stop? Yes, it is too high risk. Nature 477: 271-273.

Howarth, R. W., R. Santoro, and A. Ingraffea.  2011.  Methane and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations.  Climatic Change Letters, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5
Santoro, R., R. W. Howarth, and A. Ingraffea. 2011. Indirect emissions of carbon dioxides from Marcellus shale gas development. A technical report of the Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Program at Cornell University.

Time Magazine's 2011 Person of the Year - People Who Mattered

Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, PE

Dr. Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, and has taught structural mechanics, finite element methods, and fracture mechanics at Cornell for 33 years. Dr. Ingraffea's research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students have performed pioneering research in using interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics, and together they have authored more than 250 papers in these areas. He has been a principal investigator on more than $35 million in R&D projects from the NSF, NASA Langley, Nichols Research, NASA Glenn, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, the Gas Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace. For his research achievements he has won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics "1994 Significant Paper Award" for one of the five most significant papers in the category of Computational/Analytical Applications in the past 20 years, and he has twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991). He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the premier journal in his field, Engineering Fracture Mechanics.

Recent Work Related to Healthy Energy:

2012 Lectures to General Public:
Syracuse, NY 2/3/12
Bradford, PA 2/27/12
Spencer, NY 3/27/12

2012 Invited Presentations at Conferences:
Keynote talk to PA Chapter of Sierra Club, Symposium for Truth & Action, Bethlehem, PA - 3/17/12
Panel Participation at Bloomsburg University, PA – 3/29/12

2012 Presentations to Groups:
Webinar with European Bankers sponsored by European Climate Principle's working group - 1/1/12
Telenews event w/ Howarth on follow-up Climate Change paper - 1/19/12
Enfield Town Board Meeting - 2/1/12
Energy Team Webinar - 2/1/12
Sunrise Rotary Club Address - 2/23/12
Sigma Xi Lecture at Cornell University - 3/2/12
Becker House, Cornell University - 3/28/12
Howarth, R., W., and A. Ingraffea. 2011. Should fracking stop? Yes, it is too high risk. Nature 477: 271-273.
Howarth, R. W., R. Santoro, and A. Ingraffea.  2011.  Methane and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations.  Climatic Change Letters, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5
Howarth, R. W., and A. Ingraffea. In press. Shale gas: Time to go slow. World Energy Monitor, World Energy Forum. United Nations. New York, NY.
Howarth, R. W., R. Santoro, and A. Ingraffea. In Press. Venting and leakage of methane from shale gas development: Comparison of emission estimates and consequences for global warming. Climatic Change.
Santoro, R., R. W. Howarth, and A. Ingraffea. 2011. Indirect emissions of carbon dioxides from Marcellus shale gas development. A technical report of the Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Program at Cornell University.

Time Magazine's 2011 Person of the Year - People Who Mattered 

Mark Z Jacobson, PhD, MS
Mark Z. Jacobson is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourts Institute for Energy. He is also Director and co-founder of Stanford's Atmosphere/Energy Program. The main goal of Jacobson's research is to understand better severe atmospheric problems, such as air pollution and global warming, and develop and analyze large-scale clean energy solutions to them.  To address this goal, he has developed and applied numerical solvers and models to simulate air pollution, weather, and climate. In 1993, he developed the world's fastest ordinary differential equation solver for a given level of accuracy at the time and applied it to atmospheric chemistry problems. In 1993-4, he developed the world's first air pollution model that treated interactive feedback of transported gases and aerosols to weather and climate through radiative transfer, and in 2001, the first coupled air-pollution-weather-climate model to telescope from the global to urban scale. Later version of the model simulated the evolution of the mixing state of aerosols and clouds and the sub-grid exhaust plumes of all aircraft flights worldwide. Individual solvers he has developed include those for cloud and aerosol coagulation, breakup, condensation/evaporation, freezing, dissolution, chemical equilibrium, and lightning; air-sea exchange; ocean chemistry; greenhouse gas absorption; and surface processes, among others. His research has led to several scientific findings with policy implications. In 2000, he discovered that black carbon, the main component of soot aerosol particles, might be the second-leading cause of global warming in terms of radiative forcing, after carbon dioxide. This result and five subsequent papers provided the original scientific basis for European Parliament Resolution B7-0474/2011 calling for black carbon emission controls on climate grounds (Sep. 14, 2011), the six-country Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (Feb. 17, 2012), which expanded to 21 with the inclusion of G8 plus other countries by May 22, 2012, and five proposed U.S. laws from 2008-2010. His findings that carbon dioxide domes over cities and carbon dioxide buildup since preindustrial times have enhanced air pollution mortality through its feedback to particles and ozone served as a scientific basis for the Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 approval of the first U.S. regulation of carbon dioxide (the California waiver).  His group's 2005 development of the world's first wind map based on data alone served as a scientific justification for the wind component of the Repower America and Pickens Plan energy proposals and the siting of several proposed wind farms. He also coauthored the first plan, featured on the cover of Scientific American, to power the world for all purposes with wind, water, and sunlight (WWS).  He and his group have further studied the effects absorbing organic aerosols (brown carbon) on UV and visible radiation, aerosols on ozone, winds, and precipitation; biomass burning on climate; hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on air quality and stratospheric ozone; ethanol and diesel vehicles on air quality; agriculture on air pollution; aircraft on climate; urban surfaces on climate; and combining renewable energy on ensuring grid reliability.  To date, he has published two textbooks of two editions each, published over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, and given over 320 invited talks. He has testified three times for the U.S. Congress. Nearly a thousand researchers have used computer models he has developed. In 2005, he received the American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award for "significant contributions to modeling aerosol chemistry and to understanding the role of soot and other carbon particles on climate." His paper, "Review of energy solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security," published in January 2009, is the top all-time-accessed paper as of December 2011 in the journal Energy and Environmental Sciences. He currently sits on the Energy Efficiency and Renewables advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Recent Work Related to Healthy Energy:
Lectures, debates, briefings, and other oral presentations:
How to power New York, the U.S., and the world with wind, water, and sunlight, Barnfest, Catskills Mountains, New York, July 14, 2012.
Effects of climate change on future air quality, Environmental Protection Agency, webinar, May 9, 2012 (connected remotely). (link)
Jacobson, M. Z., Air Pollution  and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions,  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 375 pp., 2012 (link)
Hart, E.K., and M.Z. Jacobson, The carbon abatement potential of high penetration intermittent renewables, Energy and Environmental Science, 5, 6592-6601, doi:10.1039/c2ee03490e, 2012. (link)
Delucchi, M.Z., and M.Z. Jacobson, Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part II: Reliability, System and Transmission Costs, and Policies, Energy Policy, 39, 1170-1190, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.11.045, 2011. (link)
Hart, E.K., E.D. Stoutenburg, and M.Z. Jacobson, The potential of intermittent renewables to meet electric power demand: A review of current analytical techniques, Proceedings of the IEEE, 100, 322-334, doi:10.1109/JPROC.2011.2144951, 2011. (link)
Jacobson, M.Z., and M.A. Delucchi, Providing all Global Energy with Wind, Water, and Solar Power,   Part I: Technologies, Energy Resources, Quantities and Areas of Infrastructure, and Materials, Energy Policy, 39, 1154-1169, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.11.040, 2010. (link)
Jacobson, M.Z., Short-term effects of controlling fossil-fuel soot, biofuel soot and gases, and methane on climate, Arctic ice, and air pollution health,     J. Geophys.Res., 115, D14209, doi:10.1029/2009JD013795, 2010. (link)

Adam Law, MD

A specialist in endocrinology and diabetes, practicing in Ithaca, Dr. Law, a Fellow of the U.K.'s Royal College of Physicians, is also Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He trained in medicine at The Middlesex Hospital Medical School at the University of London, distinguishing himself by winning all eight major clinical prizes offered by the school, including a gold medal in surgery. After gaining membership in the Royal College of Physicians he turned his attention to medical science, and received a masters degree in biochemistry with distinction and a doctorate from the University of London. He has held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco and Cornell Univesity. He has published 13 research papers in clinical medicine and basic molecular biology. He has been in clinical practice in Ithaca, NY since 2004.  In January 2007, he took a two-year appointment as Chair of the Department of Medicine at Ithaca's Cayuga Medical Center, and was President of the Medical Staff in 2009. In addition to several committee roles at the Medical Center, Dr. Law has served on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee at Cornell University from 1995 to 2000, and has been on the University's Health Careers Program Advisory Board since 1996. Since 2009 he has been the Cayuga Medical Center medical staff program coordinator for the active affiliation with Weill Cornell Medical College.
Recent Work Related to Healthy Energy:
Planned and organized 2012 conference to stimulate public health research on shale gas production.
"Epidemiologic & Public Health Considerations of Shale Gas Production: The Missing Link". Public Health Conference. Arlington, VA. January 9, 2012

 Stanley R. Scobie, PhD
(Senior Fellow)

Dr. Scobie, whose research experience centered on non-human learning and memory as principal investigator on several National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) grants, retired from the faculty of the Psychology Dept. at Binghamton University in 2003 after a 33-year academic career. During his time at the University, Dr. Scobie served as Associate Department Chair, Department Chair, acting Associate Graduate Dean, acting Director of Sponsored Funds, and Director of the Bio-Medical Research Support Grant at B.U., writing the first "Human Subject Research Guidelines" there to create the first Institutional Review Board at the University. Active for decades in his community, Scobie chaired B.U.'s Crisis Budget Review Committee, was Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate and Academic Vice-President of United University Professions. He was also First Vice-President of the Broome-Tioga AFL-CIO Federation and Board Chair of Citizen Action (Southern Tier, NY). A tireless writer, educator, community organizer and consultant on gas-drilling issues, Scobie has testified before the New York State Assembly and Senate Environmental Conservation Committees, the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation's Shale Gas Drilling Scoping Hearings, the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection and at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearings on hydraulic fracturing. He has advised NYS Assemblywomen Donna Lupardo and Barbara Lifton on gas-drilling concerns, as well as NY Senate candidate Don Barber, who is presently chair of the Tompkins County Council of Governments. Scobie played a crucial role in founding or creating several grassroots organizations, including New Yorkers for Sustainable Energy Solutions Statewide and the New York Gas Coordination Group.


Renee Santoro, Program Director for the Environment-Energy Nexus

BS Ecology, Cornell University

Renee joins PSE after 5 years as a research aide for the Howarth/Marino Lab at Cornell University, where she continues to provide research support part-time. She has co-authored papers on the climate impact of shale gas development and was lead author on a technical report detailing the full life-cycle carbon dioxide emissions associated with unconventional gas development in the Marcellus play. As part of the SCOPE International Biofuels Program, she also helped organize an international conference (Rapid Assessment Workshop - Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use. 22-26 Sept. 2008, Germany), copy-edited and designed the layout and cover of conference proceedings, and co-authored a chapter summarizing the environmental impacts of first generation biofuels development.

Jake Hays, Program Director for the Public Health-Energy Nexus

MA Environment Philosophy, University of Montana
BA Philosophy, Connecticut College

Jake came to PSE after working as a research associate for Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City on several projects concerning unconventional natural gas development, including a structured survey of the medical literature regarding epidemiological studies associated with the practice. He has also interned at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in New York City, where he worked on the formulation of geoengineering research policies and ethical principles, as well as the review and evaluation of legal briefings. Jake has completed thesis work at the University of Montana in environmental aesthetics, having defended "Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment: Scientific Knowledge & the Extension from Aesthetics to Ethics".

Author: Jake Hays    Posted: 8/14/2012

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