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Energy Policy Mini-Course

Location: Harris School of Public Policy, Room 289B

Natural Gas: Friend or Foe?

The United States has dramatically expanded its reserves of natural gas with the development of cost-effective fracking, which allows oil companies to extract gas from seams which were previously uneconomical. This has driven the price of gas down dramatically, and, on the margins, allowed gas to begin to displace coal. As a result, COemissions in the United States have started to drop. But gas has its drawbacks: fracking may destroy water supplies, large scale gas fields have devastated important landscapes, and there is tension between the expanded use of natural gas and a switch to renewable energy. This lecture will explore whether natural gas is a friend or a foe, and discuss under what conditions it can be most useful.

This mini-course consists of four lectures: the potential for large-scale renewables; natural gas; urbanization in China; and, the best practice energy policies. The course will be interactive, and address real world dilemmas faced by policy makers as they try to reduce CO2 emissions and other adverse consequences of our energy production and consumption. You do not have to attend all sessions, but you must RSVP for the sessions you plan to attend.

Please RSVP by Friday, April 5, 5:00 p.m.