Panel discussion including: The Honorable Chris John, Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and Former U.S. Congressman; Eric Smith, Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute at the A.B. Freeman School of Business; Dr. Robert Thomas, Director of Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola University. Moderated by: Jennifer Larino, Business Reporter at the Times-Picayune.
Chris John was named president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association in August 2007. Prior to joining LMOGA, Chris was managing director of Ogilvy Government Relations in Washington, D.C., representing the firm’s clients in matters dealing primarily with energy legislation in Congress. Chris is a Louisiana native and former congressman, representing Louisiana’s 7th Congressional District from 1997 to 2005, where he served on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is also a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, serving from 1987 to 1995, where his committee assignments included the House Natural Resources Committee.
Jennifer Larino is a staff writer for NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune, covering energy, banking/finance and general business news in the greater New Orleans area.
Prof. Eric N. Smith provides market analysis and economic research on a variety of issues affecting the energy sector. Examples include a series of reports on the potential for importing LNG into the US, studies on the economic impact of unconventional shale gas Development on US supplies of natural gas, reports on the use of Petroleum Coke as a feed stock for power generation and ongoing research into the use of bio-butanol as a substitute for ethanol. In addition, he teaches the required introductory courses leading to the energy specialization certificate available to both undergraduate and graduate level students. Finally, he functions as the public face of the University and the Energy Institute, providing requested information to local and regional media on a wide variety of energy related subjects.
Robert A. Thomas is the director of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola. He served three years as the interim director of the School of Mass Communication. Thomas was the founding director of the Louisiana Nature Center, where he served as the liaison for the community in information pertaining to science education, environmental issues, and natural history.
Dr. Thomas is the past president of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and has served on the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums, and as chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Thomas received his doctorate in vertebrate zoology from Texas A&M University, did a postdoc at L.S.U. Medical Center, and has held adjunct professorships at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University.
Panelists discuss the economic implications of a changing energy climate in Louisiana and the Gulf Region. Considering perspectives of policy, industry and public perception makes for deep analysis of the booming energy market and it's direct effect on the area and it's citizens.