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Managing CCUS: Risks and Financing

Thursday, December 8th 2022

Risk understanding and management is the key to unlocking financial investment in the carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) marketplace. The unknown and potential liabilities are the factors that can cause investors to overestimate the liabilities and potential of CO2 responsibility. In fact, it can stall investment completely. Clarity and certainty are the words that are often spoken, and this session is for those that must assess long term liability of CO2 storage.

With this in mind, the UH Division of Energy and Innovation's Center for Carbon Management in Energy, alongside co-sponsor Hunton Andrews Kurth, will bring together experts in geologic storage, experts from the financial and legal community – with a specific focus on regulatory insight - and experts from the risk insurance marketplace to start and lead essential dialogue in an interactive setting, with the objective of providing a sound understanding of the state of play in the CCUS marketplace.


  • 8:00 | WELCOME - Charles McConnel UH CCME Energy Center Officer
  • 8:30 | Understanding Risk of CO2 Storage - Sallie Greenberg, University of Illinois
  • 9:00am | Economic Valuation of Risk for CCUS - Chiara Trabucchi, Industrial Economics
  • 9:30am | Risk Management for Carbon Storage - Dan McGarvey, Marsh McLennan; Lorie Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth
  • 10:15am | Financial Sector Perspective on CCUS - Victor Sinn, Jefferies Group
  • 11:00am | Regulatory Perspective (Panel Discussion)
    • Mike Nasi, Jackson Walker (Moderator)
    • Fred Eames, Hunton Andrews Kurth
    • Scott Anderson, EDF
    • Scott Larson, Railroad Commission of Texas
  • 11:45am | Carbon Credit Value Security - Irfan Ali, DigiKerma
  • Closing Remarks - Charles McConnell, UH CCME Energy Center Officer

CCUS Solutions for Commercialization

Charles "Chuck" McConnell
Energy Center Officer, Center for Carbon Management in Energy, University of Houston

Charles McConnell is the energy center officer of the Center for Carbon Management in Energy at the University of Houston. Prior to joining the CCME, McConnell was the executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University. McConnell served as the assistant secretary of energy in the US Department of Energy from 2011-13 and was responsible for the Office of Fossil Energy’s strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department’s coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories.

McConnell also previously served as vice president of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio and with Praxair, Inc. serving in a variety of operations, sales and global business and technology roles including hydrogen, gasification and energy as the global VP of energy and hydrogen.

McConnell is currently a board member of the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) Foundation in North Dakota, is a member of the National Coal Council, has served on the Society of Petroleum Engineers and National Petroleum Council subcommittees, and has held a number of board positions including chairmanships of the Gasification & Syngas Technologies Council and the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas. McConnell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1977) and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University (1984).

Understanding Risk of CO2 Storage


Sallie Greenberg
Principal Research Scientist of Energy & Minerals, Illinois State Geological Survey, University of Illinois

Sallie E. Greenberg, Ph.D. is a Principal Research Scientist of Energy & Minerals at the Illinois State Geological Survey - University of Illinois. Dr. Greenberg is a Strategic Advisor for Energy & Minerals and works on multiple projects, including Co-leading the Midwest Regional Carbon Initiative Partnership.

Over the last 20+ years, she led the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project to completion and has consulted or contributed to more than 30 energy and carbon capture and storage projects, especially in project development, risk reduction, stakeholder engagement, and environmental justice. Dr. Greenberg specializes and consults in many areas including strategic development, government relations, energy policy, environmental and social justice, project review, and relationship building.

Dr. Greenberg uses her advanced degrees in low temperature geochemistry and education to create strategies for change based on understanding public challenges related to balancing societal demands for energy with environmental concerns. Dr. Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Secondary and Continuing Education and Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology from Alfred University in New York.

Economic Valuation of Risk for CCUS


Chiara Trabucchi
Principal, Industrial Economics

As a Principal with Industrial Economics, Incorporated, Chiara Trabucchi (she/her) is a nationally-recognized expert in financial risk management and the design of financial settlement frameworks tailored for the protection of the public trust. She is an expert in evaluating the financial integrity of business, non-profit and governmental organizations, including financial damages associated with lost profits, property diminution, economic benefit of noncompliance, and natural resource damages.

Chiara has testified in numerous forums on issues related to financial settlements for large-scale environmental damages. She served as an invited expert on design considerations for financial risk management before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, as well as before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs.

She has served as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, as a Director of the Foundation Board of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and as a member of the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board, the U.S. DOE’s National Risk Assessment Partnership Stakeholder Group, and the University of California, Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Management, Eco-Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.

Chiara is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts, Forensic and Valuation Services and is an Adjunct Professor at the Roger Williams University, School of Law. She also serves as a Director on the Foundation Board of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Risk Management for Carbon Storage


Dan McGarvey
Managing Director, Power & Utility Practice, Marsh McLennan

Mr. McGarvey is the chairman of Marsh’s US Utility Practice, where he oversees the service of more than 250 utility customers. He has served the firm in many capacities, focusing primarily on the service of construction, public sector, power, and nuclear clients during his 28 years with Marsh. Mr. McGarvey graduated from the US Naval Academy and is a retired navy commander who served in the nuclear surface ship community, attaining the designation of Naval Nuclear Chief Engineer.

He joined Marsh in 1989 as a nuclear risk consultant and has served the firm as a client executive, sales professional, casualty unit leader, regional construction, public sector, and utility practice leader, national nuclear practice leader, regional sales leader, and office leader. Mr. McGarvey has been recognized five times as one of the nation’s most influential insurance brokers in Risk & Insurance Magazine’s Power Broker issue and has also been honored as a Responsibility Leader, a RIMS Fellow, and the inaugural winner of the RIMS Ambassador Award.

He is an accomplished speaker and instructor and a winner of IRMI’s “Words of Wisdom” award, having presented hundreds of seminars on risk management topics, including 37 sessions delivered at the national RIMS conference.

Lorie Masters
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth

A nationally recognized insurance coverage litigator, Lorie handles all aspects of complex, commercial litigation and arbitration for policyholders. Lorie has advised clients on a wide range of liability coverages, including insurance for environmental, employment, directors and officers, fiduciary, property damage, cyber, and other liabilities.

She also handles various types of first-party property insurance claims, including claims under boiler and machinery, business interruption, contingent business-interruption, extra expense, disability and other related coverages. Most recently, she has advised clients in a variety of industries on COVID-19 losses under a wide variety of first-party property and business-interruption policies and “package policies.” She advises clients on how to structure insurance programs effectively and on captive insurance and other alternative risk-transfer mechanisms. Lorie writes and speaks extensively on insurance coverage, technology, and litigation. Lorie has handled and tried cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country and in arbitrations in the United States and abroad.

At issue in these cases typically have been millions of dollars of insurance coverage for products and environmental liability, silicone gel breast implant claims, and other types of liability. Most recently, she has obtained multi-million dollar settlements under D&O, Side-A Only D&O and E&O policies. She served as lead trial counsel for policyholder in an action enforcing CGL insurance coverage for the then-largest property damage class action settlement ever.

The National Law Journal called that jury’s verdict one of the “most significant jury verdicts” of the year. She has also handled many other matters in litigation, arbitration, and settlement negotiations, recovering, collectively, billions of dollars for her clients. She has handled highstakes insurance issues for individuals, enforcing disability, health and property insurance.

Financial Sector Perspective on CCUS


Victor Sinn
Senior Vice President, Jefferies

Victor Sinn is a Senior Vice President with Jefferies in the Energy Investment Banking Group and joined the firm in 2017. Prior to Jefferies, Mr. Sinn worked in the Global Energy Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank. Mr. Sinn specializes in mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings and financial structuring. Mr. Sinn has a B.S. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Regulatory Perspective (Panel Discussion)


Mike Nasi
Partner, Jackson Walker

Mike Nasi is a partner with Jackson Walker, where he practices environmental and energy law. Mike has been practicing before state and federal environmental and energy agencies and appellate courts for 28 years. Mike’s compliance counseling, permitting, and enforcement defense work spans the following federal (and related state) programs: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.

Mike is often asked to play a strategic planning role on behalf of his clients in the midst of large, complex project developments. Mike is counsel for parties in ongoing EPA regulatory proceedings relating to carbon dioxide, interstate air quality, regional haze, and coal combustion residuals, including appeals pending before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mike helps coordinate multi-state outreach efforts regarding these and other regulations impacting the electric power and mining sectors, appears at hearings and energy policy events across the country, and is published in several trade, law, and business journals on environmental law and energy policy topics. Mike is a past Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and serves on the faculty for Rice University’s “Leadership & Decision Making in the Energy Industry” course and as a guest lecturer in the “Energy Law & Policy” course at the University of Texas Law School.

Mike is consistently recognized on several “Who’s Who” and “Best Lawyer” lists and was recently awarded the “Energy and Environmental Trailblazer Award.” Mike is the Chairman of the Central Texas Salvation Army Advisory Board and is a Board Member for the West Austin Youth Association (WAYA).


Fred Eames
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth

Fred has been working on CCUS for 15 years. He represents clients on CCUS projects and strategy, and advocates for clients before federal agencies and Congress regarding rulemakings, permitting, and legislation. Fred has built trust by delivering solutions that blend a keen understanding of a client’s business with the law in question and the policy considerations that underpin it.

Clients trust Fred for his insightful and practical know-how acquired from years spent as Counsel to the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, and his nearly 25 years in private practice advising industrial clients. That experience significantly enhances his energy and environmental advocacy, where he works on CCUS, climate change, electricity and energy policy, environmental risk management, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and infrastructure permitting, and waste disposal issues.

Fred has spearheaded the formation of industry groups focused on the expansion of CCUS and currently chairs the CCUS Consortia’s Legal and Regulatory Committee. He is involved with several CCUS projects, has authored federal CCUS risk management and regulatory legislation, prepared comments on federal regulations, and drafted legislation for several states. He is a frequent speaker on CCUS issues.

Scott Anderson
Senior Director, Energy, Environmental Defense Fund

With areas of expertise in oil and gas policy, oil and gas wastewater, and carbon capture utilization and storage, Scott Anderson has served as EDF’s point person on policies relating to the land and water impacts of oil and natural gas development and to the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide since 2005. Scott focuses on reducing the environmental footprint of oil and gas operations.

Scott Larsen
Assistant General Counsel, General Law Section, Railroad Commission of Texas

Scott Larson is Assistant General Counsel for the General Law Section of the Railroad Commission of Texas, and has primary responsibility for advising the Oil & Gas Division. In this role he advises the Commissioner’s staffs, the Executive Director and Leadership Team on regulatory, operational, enforcement and compliance matters. Scott is Board Certified in Oil, Gas & Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Scott earned his bachelor’s degree from McMurry University in 1995, and went on to receive his master’s degree and Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University in 1999.

Carbon Credit Value Security


Irfan Ali
Founder, DigiKerma

Irfan K. Ali is the founder of DigiKerma, Inc. an innovative Blockchain-based initiative to help speed up the deployment of Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) technology by creatin a monetization path for CO2 . Ali is a successful entrepreneur with wide-ranging expertise gained through a history in international business spanning over 38 years.

As founder of Balico, LLC, he has led development & financing activities on over 5,000MW of private power projects in the United Sates over a 30-year period with total valuation approaching $5b. He has also led development of Chickahominy Power, a 1,750 MW Natural Gas Combined Cycle merchant power plant located in Charles City County, Virginia and is helping to develop a 2,000MW coal/gas/CCS/H2 Greenfield site in West Virginia.

Since 2004, Ali has been a partner with the Georgelas Group, a real estate investment and development firm successfully operating in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for over four decades. The group is developing one of the largest transit-oriented mixeduse developments in the area, consisting of over 6 million square feet. He is a member of the Tysons Land Use Task Force for four years as an appointee of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and has served on several subcommittees and played a key role in shaping the new comprehensive plan for Tysons Corner.

The plan was adopted by the county board in June 2010 and has led to a robust TOD redevelopment activity in Tysons. Ali is also pursuring innovative ideas to spur sustainable economic development in Pakistan with a focus on addressing energy poverty and food security by forming strategic partnerships and alliances, and he is a managing member of TharPak, LLC, serving as Chairman of the TharPak consortium of companies, bringing leading edge clean coal technologies to develop a mega-energy complex in Pakistan based on Thar lignite coal, including synthetic natural gas and coal to liquids.