Kevin Forbes (right), director of CUA’s Center for the Study of Energy and Environmental Stewardship, has researched energy markets — particularly oil and natural gas supplies — for more than 15 years. So when gas-pump prices skyrocketed last year after hurricanes Rita and Katrina damaged Gulf of Mexico oil rigs, reporters sought out Forbes for commentary about the energy industry and where it was headed in the wake of the storms. His insights appeared in The Washington Post and the energy industry’s prestigious Platts Gas Daily.
Forbes, who is also chair of CUA’s Department of Business and Economics, says increasing demand and another natural disaster could cause gas-pump prices to spike again, but he’s optimistic about the industry’s ability to develop new sources of petroleum and natural gas. Take the Barnett shale field in Texas’ Fort Worth Basin, for instance: Once dismissed as a possible source because the natural gas there was considered too difficult to extract, the site is now the No. 1 producing field in the state, Forbes says.
He’s far less optimistic about the state of the environment, however. He cites the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest forecast for greenhouse gas emissions: Over the next 25 years, such emissions, which contribute to global warming, will increase by 40 percent unless the world decreases its burning of coal and uses more natural gas.
In December he and other members of Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum met in Washington, D.C., to discuss better ways to transport natural gas from remote areas of the world to the United States and other high-demand countries. The forum brings together experts from government, industry, universities and research organizations to discuss critical energy and environmental issues.
CUA’s Center for the Study of Energy and Environmental Stewardship, established in 2003, is funded by Thomas Rojas, B.A. 1983. The center supports the annual Thomas and Marie Rojas Lecture, which is presented on campus in celebration of Earth Day. This year’s lecture is scheduled for April 21.
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