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Pulitzer-winning author to speak on future of energy

Courtesy of MCT

A visit from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin, is in line with President E. Gordon Gee’s plan for the university to become carbon neutral in the future.
Yergin is set to present “The Quest: The Future of Energy” Tuesday in an event hosted by OSU’s Office of Energy and Environment as part of an outreach program to educate the university community on energy efficiency where he will “try to provide an insight into where we are in energy, the dramatic changes that are happening, and what the future (will) look like in years ahead,” he said.
Yergin emphasizes finding a balance between renewable energy sources and traditional sources such as oil and coal. He also highlighted the importance of becoming more energy efficient while still being competitively priced.
“You have to be competitive to be fair, so I think it really goes back to innovation and technological advance,” he said.
Joan Slattery Wall, OEE editor, said Yergin’s book “The Quest: The Future of Energy” looks at controllable and uncontrollable factors the energy consumers and creators have to take into account.
Controllable factors are things like the kind of cars people drive and how homes are heated, while uncontrollable factors include natural disasters that lead to oil spills, such as the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“A lot of what (Yergin) talks about (in his book) is we need to keep in mind these lessons learned from what we’ve done over history in all of these areas of energy in order to decide what we’re going to do looking forward to find energy sources for the United States and to work and collaborate with other countries around the world,” Wall said.
Yergin said he does not believe students will see major differences in the way people use energy for at least another 15 years, but believes Ohio, under Republican Gov. John Kasich, “has taken the lead in developing a strong, regulatory system,” to minimize the impact technologies such as fracking have on the environment.
Ohio has a lot of shale deposits in eastern Ohio that have drawn the attention of some oil companies, and Kasich has welcomed the business. He aims to cut taxes to Ohioans by putting the financial burden on oil companies utilizing the resources.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling process that extracts natural gas from shale underground. The process has caused some concern about the chemicals used to drill and their impact on groundwater.
“I think Ohio’s economy is already benefitting and will benefit from this (regulating fracking), but it is important that it be done correctly and that it be properly regulated,” Yergin said.
Yergin’s free presentation on the future of energy is scheduled for Tuesday at the Ohio Union.

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