Keith Welks, Deputy State Treasurer for fiscal operations and Senior Advisor for Policy at the state Treasury Department, will be honored with the 2017 Pennsylvania Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section Award during the section’s Environmental Law Forum, April 5-6 at the Hilton Harrisburg.
Welks is to receive the award for being a “forceful advocate for environmental protection,” and finding “creative ways to fight the good fight of protecting the environment and conserving energy,” both in and out of state service.
In his current role, Welks identifies investment opportunities for the Pennsylvania Treasury in a number of areas, including investments that involve green or clean technologies.
He worked with numerous partners to establish the KeystoneHELP Program, which has provided more than 14,000 low interest loans to homeowners who install energy conservation measures. Welks has also led a successful sale of a large portion of the HELP loan portfolio to secondary investors.
He was integral in the Pennsylvania Treasury’s creation of Wharehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL), the first national financing facility which aims to provide homeowners across the U.S. with low-cost financing for home improvements by creating a secondary market for residential clean energy loans via securitization.
Prior to working at the Pennsylvania Treasury, Welks helped create and lead the environmental crimes section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General from 1980 until 1987. He then served as chief counsel of the former Department of Environmental Resources for several years.
In the mid-1990s, Welks created, secured funding for and served as president of the Phoenix Land Recycling Company, a nonprofit organization that facilitated the remediation and reuse of brownfield sites in the Commonwealth.
Mr. Welks graduated summa cum laude from Lafayette College and received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The Environmental Law Forum will feature opening remarks by Patrick McDonnell, Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, on April 5.For more information on the awards program and the Forum, visit the PBA’s Environmental Law Forum webpage.