California Roundtable on Economy, Energy & the Environment’s (“CREEE”) Inaugural Roundtable Elicits Diverse View Points on Question: “Is Natural Gas the Future?”

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CREEE sponsored a panel discussion on May 31st, 2012 entitled “Is Natural Gas the Future?” Amongst the speakers were Daniel Gordon, former Merrill Lynch Director and Peter Bennett with the Water & Air Alliance. Each expressed viewpoints on current US natural gas policies and their implications for economic, energy and environmental policy.

CREEE sponsored a panel discussion on May 31st, 2012 entitled “Is Natural Gas the Future?” Amongst the speakers were Daniel Gordon, former Merrill Lynch Director and Peter Bennett with the Water & Air Alliance. Each expressed viewpoints on current US natural gas policies and their implications for economic, energy and environmental policy.

Daniel Gordon, ex-Merrill Lynch Managing Director of Global Commodities Trading, warned against the growing consensus that abundant natural gas supplies will solve energy price worries in the United States; “Unfortunately, abundant and cheap natural gas is really only distracting the Nation from the important need to find cost-effective, clean energy solutions.” Daniel Gordon noted the lack of a national energy and environmental policy is having a negative impact on US economic growth. “It is clear the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address is limiting investment in alternative and clean energy technologies. We are quickly falling behind China, India amongst others in this very important area – an area with tremendous job creation potential and long term environmental benefit” concluded Gordon.

Peter Bennett, a Vice President with the Water & Air Alliance, was more focused on the practice of hydraulic fracturing. “The ‘fracking’ process is still in its infancy. We do not know the potential collateral damage it can cause to water supplies or air emissions.” Bennett praised the newly released EPA policy governing hydraulic fracturing but was disappointed that the effective date for such policies was pushed until 2015.

Roundtable members all agreed that there is a universal equilibrium point that must be reached in terms of balancing economic, environmental and energy agendas that stimulate economic growth without sacrificing environmental safeguards. However, consensus as to the precise means to achieve that equilibrium was not easily achieved. It is very likely that this will be an on-going debate and the subject of future CREEE roundtables.

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Alex Warrow
awarrow@smidee.com
646-345-0156
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Alex Warrow
Smidee
646-345-0156
Email >