Future 500 | Finding common ground between uncommon allies

How do we secure our energy and economic future in the 21st Century?

On October 2-3 2012 Future 500 organized four panel discussions called the “The UnConvention 2012”. The UnConvention theme was chosen because the event happens one month after the end of the 2012 political conventions, and one month before Election Day. These panels brought together leaders from across the political, business, and NGO spectrum to discuss difficult issues in an open and respectful way.  One of the panel discussions, brought together experienced leaders from the right and the left to weigh in on their perspectives of the problems and possible solutions they see in terms of energy security in the U.S. and what options we have for the future. This post summarizes the panel, Energy Security: Safe, Stable, & Reliable Energy Sources to Fuel Our Economy which took place at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York.

Commit!Forum closing the NYSE on October 3rd.

Without energy, growth stops. Yet current policy — foreign and domestic — often causes as many problems as it solves. President of Future 500, Bill Shireman sees how some would try to “drill-baby-drill” our way out of this debt, but the world’s energy resources are, perhaps, as limited as America’s financial ones, and are not equally distributed.  In a recent study done by the Associated Press, experts say increasing U.S. production would have no impact on gas prices, and that the only way to protect against price spikes is ultimately, to reduce consumption.Adding further to the sense of urgency around the U.S. energy debate, Mr. Shireman views the landscape of resources we have today in the U.S. as being an incredibly short term solution to gaining energy independence and thus security.  Mr. Shireman explains, of the trillion barrels of estimated oil reserves, only six percent are in North America, while sixty-six percent are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes.  Natural gas reserves can help wean the U.S. off dirty coal, but those, too, will be consumed in decades, especially as they become increasingly important in transportation.

Future 500 understands the complexity of the energy production decisions we face in this country today and specializes in bringing all perspectives to the table in effort to find common ground for which we can all move forward.  For this reason, Future 500 chose to bring together an outstanding group of experts from a widely diverse background to debate the future of energy security and more importantly, to unearth potential solutions that would connect all stakeholders.

Thank you again to our panelists:

  • Denny McGinn, Vice Admiral (Ret.), U.S. Navy
  • Dave Kerner, Senior Science & Technology Advisor, The Tauri Group, LLC
  • Michael Marx, Director, Beyond Oil Campaign, Sierra Club
  • Elizabeth Muller, Founder and Executive Director, Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature
  • John Schulz, Director, Sustainability Operations, AT&T
  • Nicholas K. Akins, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Electric Power

Moderator: Marlene Motyka, US Alternative Energy Leader and Principal, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP

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