King Coal's crown is slipping. Cheap natural gas-along with increasingly stringent environmental oversight-has reduced the US appetite for coal, causing the industry to look to markets in China and India. What are the issues for both local and global communities and what are the strategies for closing coal down?
Gregory Dalton is chief operating officer at the Commonwealth Club of California and Director of The Club's Climate 1 Initiative. He previously was international editor at The Industry Standard magazine, an editor for the Associated Press in New York, and a correspondent in China and Canada for the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper.
Proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese, he is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Trevor Houser is a partner at RHG and leads the firm’s energy and natural resources work. He is also a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, where he writes on energy, commodity and environmental market and policy issues. Trevor is an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York, and a visiting fellow at the school’s Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on US-China Relations and serves on the Advisory Board of Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations. He speaks regularly on international energy market and policy trends and has testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commissions. During 2009, Trevor left RHG temporarily to serve as senior advisor to the US State Department, where he worked on a broad range of international energy, natural resource and environmental policy issues. While in government, Trevor negotiated seven bilateral US-China energy agreements, including the US-China Shale Gas Initiative and the establishment of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center. Trevor also served as a US climate change negotiator through the Copenhagen conference in 2009.
Ross manages Climate Solutions Business Partnership program, which helps build support in the region’s corporate community for strong climate and energy policy and private investment in solutions. He is active in promoting good climate and energy policy on a state and federal level. He recently managed and facilitated Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, the first stakeholder effort in the nation to point a path to low-carbon alternatives to power the next generation of flight. He has been selected by peers as a “Pivotal Leader”, which recognizes a few individuals who are have the skills and experience to drive the region’s clean energy economy. Ross brings more than 30 years of experience working on public policy and environmental issues. He was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates) where he managed the environmental law practice and represented a wide range of public and private clients. He was recognized as a “Superlawyer” in the areas of Environmental, Transportation and Public law. He also served on the management team for an agency working to build urban mass transit. A Northwest native, Ross is a graduate of Pomona College and University of Washington School of Law. He is passionate about hiking, skiing, and traveling.
Bruce Nilles joined the Sierra Club in 2002 and currently directs its National Coal Campaign, the largest component of Sierra Club's new Climate Recovery Campaign. The national coal campaign is working to reduce America's over reliance on coal, slash coal's contribution to global warming and other pollution woes, end destructive mining, and secure massive investments in clean energy alternatives. Bruce previously worked as a staff attorney for Earthjustice's San Francisco office, and during the Clinton Administration as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington D.C. He received his J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.