UH to host oil spill symposium

The University of Houston’s Center for Public History and Centers for Energy Management and Policy will hold an oil spill symposium on September 23rd, at the Hilton Hotel on the university’s main campus.

Offshore staff



HOUSTON – The University of Houston’s Center for Public History and Centers for Energy Management and Policy will hold an oil spill symposium on September 23rd, at the Hilton Hotel on the university’s main campus.

UH community scholars say that the Deepwater Horizonincident in the Gulf of Mexico has galvanized the general public and the academic community about U.S. energy choices and their effect on the environment. The blowout and oil spill and its potential environmental, energy, and regulatory implications offers an opportunity for scholars and experts to come together to reflect on the myriad challenges that the nation has faced in the past and the challenges it will face in the near future.

The University of Houston oil spill symposium will address questions about energy production, oil spill response, environmental impact, and government regulation that are key to understanding the accident, placing it within its appropriate historical context, and examining its potential impact on future energy policy.

The symposium will be structured as an interdisciplinary roundtable discussion with three sessions led by a panel of experts with backgrounds in history, resource management, science, policy, law, and industry. Moderators will guide a Q&A discussion among the panelist and audience members.

The event will be held in the Hilton Hotel on the University of Houston Campus,
Plaza Room 247 (www.universityofhouston.hilton.com).

A tentative program schedule follows:

Coffee/Symposium Introduction: 9:30 am

Morning Session:

History (10 am):
1) Building America’s Energy Corridor during the Environmental Era of the 1970s:
Speaker: Jason Theriot, UH History Doctoral Candidate

2) Lessons for Business and Government from the Exxon Valdez:
Speaker: Joe Pratt, Ph.D., UH Professor and Energy Historian

3) Oil Pollution Act of 1990:
Speaker: Bob Nicholas, former Gen. Counsel for Exxon Shipping Company and maritime law expert at Phelps Dunbar law firm

Lunch Break: noon

Afternoon Sessions

Oil Spill Research/Response: (1:00 pm)
1) Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO):
Speaker: Don Davis, Ph.D., former Director of LOSCO

2) Texas Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program (OSPRA):
Speaker: Greg Pollock, the Deputy Commissioner of OSPRA

3) Ixtoc Blowout and Oil Spill:
Speaker: Wes Tunnell, Ph.D., Associate Director, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


Regulatory/Environmental/Legal Impact (3:00 pm)
1) MMS and BOEM:
Speaker: Ty Priest, Ph.D., UH Professor and Energy Historian

2) Clean Gulf Associates:
Speaker: Jim Myers, Industry Consultant

3) Legal Issues and Drilling Moratorium:
Speaker: John English, an oil and gas and environmental attorney with Baker and Hostetler LLP

For more information, please contact:

Jason Theriot
Dept of History, University of Houston
713-417-3380
jpriot@hotmail.com

Kristin Deville, Program Coordinator for the Center for Public History
kdeville@central.uh.edu
713-743-3087 (office)

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