<UPDATE, 4/9/2012>: Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig continues with my next scheduled show on April 11th (Wednesday at 9:30-9:55 am CT) on KPFT in Houston (90.1 FM). You can listen live when the show is on-air by clicking here: Listen Live (32k)
While we may drift as the conversation develops, I think that these are the topics I’ve settled on and, briefly, the reasons why.
- The importance of conveyance infrastructure in our country: Whether you’re an oil&gas person or a renewable energy person, conveyance infrastructure is an issue. It may be pipelines, electric transmissions infrastructure or off-time storage for renewables, some kind of transport and/or storage capacity is essential. Given finite financial resources and political resistance, how do we strike a balance between what we need now and in the foreseeable future versus what we hope to transition to as ‘Energy Economy 2.0’?
- The price and abundance of wind, and some myth-busting around wind energy: Wind and water are going to be key energy resources in the future. They tap into the Earth’s gross solar energy budget without actually changing it in a net or macro way. They can, however, create micro-climate changes. Is this a problem, or can it even be used to our advantage with adequate modeling? Essentially, can we use micro-climate change some localized geographic areas to our advantage, if we plan carefully?
- Keystone–How it relates to Crude and National Security, and its net environmental impact: Ed favors the Keystone XL project because of what he sees as it net benefits to the environment, as well as it national energy security implications; this is an unusual approach. Michael might see things differently – or not – and this may be the kernel of an interesting discussion.
- Is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE Achievable? Will it mean lower energy prices?: Natural gas is making ever larger inroads into our energy economy. Renwable energy, while struggling, appears here to stay both by necessity and political will. With these in the mix, along with recently higher domestic oil production, will we ever actually achieve net energy self-sufficiency? Are lower prices possible in this scenario, or is the goal to increase efficiencies so that USE of energy is affordable in spite of price?
I think that these four topics will more than fill our time, and could be quite interesting. I have also re-posted piece on wind energy and its potential unintended consequences here: https://thinkwingradio.com/2012/04/09/wind-turbines-its-always-something-video/
My exciting new relationship with KPFT in Houston (90.1 FM), Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig is continues with my next scheduled show on April 11th (Wednesday at 9:30-9:55 am CT). It will be both timely and intriguing.
My confirmed guests will be Edward Hirs and Michael Skelly. The topic I’ll begin to explore is “Energy Independence: We Talk About It, But What Does It Mean?” The sorts of questions I’d like to discuss:
- Does Energy Independence mean lower fuel and energy prices? If not, why not?
- The XL pipeline makes a regional shale oil supply into a global supply. Is that good or bad for US consumers? Why or why not?
- Oil is a global market commodity. Is there any way we can insulate ourselves from global price forces for energy, and even if it were possible, would that be a good or bad thing?
- The US has become a net energy exporter for the first time in decades. What does that mean? Are we now, or should we be, energy independent?
- How do commodity markets and speculators affect world energy prices? Is speculation, and not consumer demand, really the biggest price driver?
- In the context of greater global access to carbon-based fuels, what are the environmental considerations?
Energy pricing and availability is a big topic, and one I really want to cover and return to.
It’s that important.
I know that the issues above represent a lot of stuff to discuss, and we’ll likely not get to all of it, but I would love to use this half hour to at least start putting all this into some sort of context for my listeners.
My scheduled in-studio guest is Professor Ed Hirs (Pron.: HERZ). He currently lectures on the topic of energy and economics at University of Houston, through their Department of Economics. I plan to have a more detailed bio of Professor Hirs posted in the near future. In the meantime, you can visit Yale Alumni in Energy (YAE). YAE is a group of alumni from Yale College and the various graduate and professional schools at Yale who share an interest—professional or personal—in energy. I expect this to be a particularly interesting discussion because (while this will not be the only focus of our conversation) Professor Hirs favors the XL Pipeline, but not for the usual reasons.
I’ve also confirmed Michael Skelly as a guest in order to provide a point/counterpoint discussion. Mr. Skelly is a Houston renewable energy businessman and former Democratic candidate for Texas’s 7th congressional district (map) in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the chief development officer for Horizon Wind Energy, the third largest wind company in the United States. Skelly is currently the president of Clean Line Energy Partners, an independent developer of high voltage, long-haul transmission lines.
Leading up to this show, I’ve asked Professor Hirs (and now, Mr. Skelly) to send me some advance information on topics which we can only skim over on a 25 minute show. My hope and intention for this unusual step is to allow interested listeners to brief themselves on the relevant topics in advance, so their understanding of the discussion may be more in-depth.
Time permitting, I intend to allow call-ins during the latter part of the show. I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!