William & Mary

Energy Policy Dialogue in D.C.

energy policy dialogueAs policy students, it is important to learn and understand the issues that are pressing for society. We cannot deny that in the last year American energy policy has become an essential subject of national debate: to Drill or not to Drill, Ethanol or Hybrid, Energy Independent or Interdependent.

So, on September 12, for the first TJPPP Washington Dialogue of the new academic year, students heard three presentations on these debates in Energy Policy. We met Ron Planting of the American Petroleum Institute, Ed Hubbard of the Renewable Fuels Program and Brian Wynne of the Electric Drive Transport Association.

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Each speaker brought their own experience and personality to the discussion. The complete event was a very well rounded discussion of energy policy issues. Mr. Planting presented the facts of a Capital Intense American Oil industry, where past investments in Petroleum infrastructure have created an economy dependent on a healthy world market for oil. Mr. Hubbard gave a passionate description of the possibilities of Ethanol usage and improvement—while proudly declaring his ownership of an E85 FlexFuel Vehicle. Mr. Wynne concluded the day with a similar discussion of the growing potential of Hybrid and other electric drive vehicles .

Energy Problems are challenging and we are a long way from solving them. We as a society can answer such daunting questions only through informed dialogue. That is why we are public policy students; why we found this program; that was the work we were doing in DC.