Thayer hosts two-day energy symposium
By Conor Galligan
Published on Monday, October 15, 2007
Scientists, CEOs, politicians and interested citizens gathered in Hanover for the Dartmouth Energy Symposium, hosted by the Thayer School of Engineering last Thursday and Friday, to discuss the future of energy and explore the relationships between energy and the broader environment. The symposium featured three keynote speakers and five panel discussions.
Each panel discussion focused on a specific topic -- such as the environment, government and policy or Dartmouth -- and its connection to energy. The panelists included professors, CEOs, senators and PhDs, and audience members were allowed to ask the experts questions relating to the topic at hand.
Several of the panelists and keynote speakers spoke about the United States' dependence on oil and commented that a change needs to be made.
"We're all in this together," said former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
Dan Reicher, who is the director of climate change and energy initiatives for Google's philanthropic arm Google.org, discussed both general energy consumption trends and Google's policies in his address, titled "Building a Clean Energy Future: Technology, Policy, and Finance." During the Clinton administration, Reicher held various positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and DOE chief of staff.
Reicher showed a slide that summed up the tone of the conference: It depicted a gasoline station pricing sign showing the rate regular as "an arm," premium "a leg" and super "your first born."
Not surprisingly for a conference which focused partly on energy politics, the role of money proved to be a common theme throughout the event.
"There are a number of powerful hormones out there," said Tom Burack, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. "Testosterone is one; the dollar bill is another."
Another speech, given by Lisa Margonelli and titled "Staying Competitive in the Global Stage: Sociological and Technological Innovations," focused the different stages of the oil supply chain. Her book, Oil on the Brain, was the assigned summer reading for the Class of 2011.
Jason Grumet, director of the National Commission on Energy Policy, also gave an address on a bipartisan effort to address oil security and climate change. Grumet is the founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, an organization that promotes progressive and pro-growth ideas about issues from energy policy to national security.
Mascoma Corporation founder Lee Lynd, a professor at Thayer School of Engineering, organized the event, and said he was pleased with the number of people that attended the event, and during his introduction of Reicher he commented that much of the audience had been present at many of the day's talks.
The Tuck School of Business, the Rockefeller Center, and the Environmental Studies Program also helped organize the event.