Inaugural Public Policy Forum “Energy & Natural Resources” Receives Rave Reviews

Posted by Jon Weist, on Mon May 21 2012 at 05:36 PM

Just because water always runs out of the tap and the lights turn on when throw the switch doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Future access to abundant, moderately priced energy in the United States is achievable but by no means guaranteed unless government agencies and the public gain a better understanding of the obstacles to increased investment in energy production.

That is one clear conclusion from speakers at the Chamber’s well-received Energy and Natural Resources forum, conducted last Thursday. Speakers from academia, engineering firms, the state legislature and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce received rave reviews from those in attendance at this first-ever event. The forum was part of a series that will include a Mobility Forum October 4, an Education event November 12 and a discussion of redevelopment in the first quarter of next year. All are designed to promote dialogue on issues critical to the economy of North Texas.

Presentations from each speaker can be found below:

A few critical points from last week’s event highlight the need for all to become informed about energy and resource questions. These points will almost certainly inform the policy agenda the Chamber is developing for the next 10 years. They include:

  • The United States has abundant natural-gas supplies in shale formations in many states, but their development depends on a gas price that makes drilling and exploration pay off.
  • There is little support in recent experience or in history for the negative publicity about natural-gas drilling, particularly claims of environmental threats.
  • As a growing state, Texas is not prepared to meet the demands on its water supply unless the state Legislature acts to put money into the state’s water development plan.
  • Without investment in new power plants, Texas is poised to face increased strain on its power grid and the increased likelihood of required blackouts during periods of high electric demand
  • Investment in new and replacement power production in the United States is low and could fall further as other countries make it easier to build such facilities, a trend that is accelerating.

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