I’m an engineering professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. My professional background has been split between 15 years in the private sector (production engineering, energy services engineering, and environmental engineering) and 18 years at UGA. My research is focused on leveraging renewable resources, specifically solar, to address emerging environmental regulations and evolving customer demands while at the same time maintaining an integrated resource base of coal, gas and nuclear. I also have a strong interest in the policy space where energy, environmental issues, economic growth and politics overlap…or, most often, collide.
This blog is primarily about energy, environmental issues and policy. In its various forms energy has become a political chip in what seems like a high-stakes poker game between environmental activists, politicians, industrialists, and quite a few others. As bystanders, the general public is often left to wonder what cards are being held by each, how high the stakes actually are, and how they can see through the smoke that often fills the room. My intent is to discuss the issues and make some sense out of a debate that is noisy, confusing and polarized—oftentimes, intentionally so. In general, I’ll try to present energy issues in a format that’s understandable and beyond political and academic abstractions that often serve only to indoctrinate the public in a worldview that is both narrow and biased. The intended audience is the general public and any students or young folks who have an interest in the energy field.
Personally, I have concerns about energy and climate change, which I consider to be the environmental issues of our day. At the same time, I have grave concerns about the U.S. economy, which I consider to be the social issue of our day, and the extent to which the U.S. will leverage its current energy position on the global stage. With energy central to both our economy and the environment, we cannot afford to force-fit U.S. energy and environmental policies that favor one to the neglect of the other (that is, environment over economy or vice versa) or that compromise America’s economic leverage or it’s position of leadership in global affairs. I believe these issues and our response to them will, to a great extent, define us for generations to come.
On a more personal note I’ve been married since 1981 to the same sweetest, prettiest girl I’ll ever know and have been in love with her since we started dating in high school. I’m also a father and a grandfather and my concerns and actions are guided by what I believe is best for the world that I pass along to my children and grandchildren.
I also have political positions on most things, which I’ll share from time to time, although I’m not so naive to think that everything in life fits into my political beliefs. Some things are best left separated.
My political position is summarized in Straight Outta Reagan.
I welcome your feedback.