Honors Symposium IV - U.S. Oil Policy
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ford Life Sciences Building, Room 113, 6:30pm-9:00pm EDT
The UDM Honors Program would like to announce what promises to be a stimulating exchange of ideas on this important topic.
Our symposiasts are:
Dr. Mark Benvenuto (Chemistry)
Professor Steve La Grassa (Architecture)
Dr. Mark Schumack (Engineering)
The United States makes up less than 5% of the world population but consumes about 25% of the world energy output. The largest source of U.S. energy is derived from petroleum, which it consumes at the rate of almost 21 million barrels a day. As the demand for oil has increased, domestic production of oil has decreased. Consequently, whereas the U.S. only imported 10% of its oil in 1970, it presently imports over 65%. Alarmed by this increasing dependence on foreign oil, several presidential administrations have promised to the make the U.S. more energy independent, but these initiatives have come to nothing. Some estimate that by the middle of the next decade, the U.S. will be 70-75% dependent on foreign oil, and this at a time when several oil-producing regions have become politically unstable and global demand for oil is on the rise.
In light of these sobering facts, what is to be done? Should the U.S. more aggressively develop its own oil fields, whether inland or off-shore, in a bid for more oil independence? Or should the U.S. commit itself to a more robust program of energy conservation? Or would a national commitment to various emerging green technologies help end the country dependency on oil? What are the various economic, environmental, political and moral implications of these possible scenarios? The Symposium begins with each member of our panel of UDM faculty making a short statement on this topic. After this a moderated discussion will take place, first among the panelists, and then expanded to include audience participation.