Discussion Touches On Unconventional Oil, Gas Development

energy and security bookUnconventional oil and gas development will be part of the discussion on Friday when energy advisory consultant David Goldwyn speaks at an Alaska World Affairs Council event. Goldwyn is co-author and editor of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. The revised 2nd edition addresses new energy frontiers, rising safety concerns for energy complexes and energy poverty. Goldwyn says the revolution in shale development in the Lower 48 has changed the future of domestic energy development.

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Unconventional oil and gas development will be part of the discussion on Friday when energy advisory consultant David Goldwyn speaks at an Alaska World Affairs counsel event. Goldwyn is co-author and editor of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. The revised 2nd edition addresses new energy frontiers, rising safety concerns for energy complexes and energy poverty. Goldwyn says the revolution in shale development in the lower 48 has changed the future of domestic energy development.

Goldwyn : “I think we are looking at a significant supply growth for the foreseeable future, probably peaking at 8 million barrels a day for oil and 100 year supply for gas.  So I think the supply side is pretty secure. I think on the safety and environmental side, I think there were some significant missteps by industry with a lack of disclosure, which I think was a huge mistake and now the conversation has evolved to concerns about wellbore safety and methane emissions, and water safety, making the air and water safe. So I think there are technological answers to be sure it can be safe. The question is whether state regulations are requiring best practices are used and enforced to make sure the low cost producers do the right thing and if they’re not, they are punished.”

Townsend: YOU MENTIONED A 100 YEAR SUPPLY, WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANS FOR THE VIABILITY OF ALASKA’S GAS?

Goldwyn: “Well I think the future of Alaska gas is for export not consumption in continental United States. That said, the opportunities for export of natural gas are robust on a worldwide basis, from a climate change perspective, there is an enormous opportunity to substitute gas for coal and in parts of the world for biomass. So there’s a lot of demand, but the challenge is there’s a lot of stranded gas in the world and Alaska is going to have to compete with Australia and Qatar and others.“

Townsend: ALL OF THIS FOSSIL FUEL DEVELOPMENT IS UP AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A CHANGING CLIMATE, ESPECIALLY IN ALASKA WHERE IT’S HAPPENING MUCH FASTER. DO YOU ADDRESS THIS IN YOUR BOOK AND WHAT DO YOU THINK NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CONCERNS?

Goldwyn: “It’s really addressed throughout the book. I think we have an opportunity from the gas boom to get some short and medium term greenhouse gas reductions. And that’s because in the next 10 years we can get some more greenhouse gas reductions by substituting gas for coal and biomass and in the Middle East for oil, than we can from any other technology on the market. So I think we really need to secure those gains and embrace natural gas for now. But, we’re never going to get to 50 percent reductions by 2050 until we have some technological breakthroughs and those are on carbon sequestration and utility scale battery storage.”

David Goldwyn is a co-author of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. He’ll be speaking in Anchorage on Friday.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin.

She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 18 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director.

In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN.

Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley.

She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests.

ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori