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UW Panel to Examine Sustainable Energy Future

October 17, 2014
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UW Economics Professor Rob Godby will be among panelists examining key challenges to building a sustainable future.

Key challenges to building a sustainable energy future will be examined by a panel of experts Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 3- 5 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium.

“The EU, China and the U.S. as Global Actors in Energy and the Environment,” is a part of the Global Studies 2014-15 workshop series: “Building Capacity for Our Sustainable Energy and Environmental Future – U.S.-EU-China Collaboration and Problem Solving Opportunities.”

The panel discussion addresses the multi-faceted issues in the global energy and climate security debates as it seeks to build a bridge across various energy/environment stakeholders to address one of the planet’s most complex challenges: building a path to a sustainable energy future.

“Access to cheap and reliable energy, specifically fossil fuels, has fueled economic growth for the United States, Europe, China and the world,” says Political Science Professor Jean Garrison with UW’s Center for Global Studies. “At the same time, natural resources often lie at the heart of conflict and civil strife and can be used as geopolitical tools in foreign policy -- a fact underscored by recent realities playing out between Russia and its neighbors.”

Continued reliance on fossil fuels for the next 30-plus years is a reality that creates an energy future complicated by socio-economic and environmental tradeoffs, issues of sustainability, and uneven distribution of resources regionally and globally, says Garrison, who will be the panel moderator. She says the issue is complicated further by concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

Panelists are:

-- Michele Betsill, professor of political science at Colorado State University and founder and co-leader of the Environmental Governance Working Group;

-- Robert Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy and associate professor in the UW Department of Economics and Finance;

-- Kathleen J. Hancock, associate professor of political science at the Colorado School of Mines and a specialist on the international political economy of energy and regionalism;

-- Richard Horner, the Engineering Tier-1 coordinator at UW and liaison with UW internal and external stakeholders, including the Wyoming Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force;

-- Jason Shogren, the Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management in the UW Department of Economics and Finance; and

-- Stacy D. VanDeveer, professor of political science and chair of the department at the University of New Hampshire.

The panel discussion is made possible through the partnership of the Center for Global Studies, UW School of Energy Resources and the Colorado European Union Center for Excellence, and is co-funded by the European Union. For additional information, contact Garrison at (307) 766-6119 or

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