GOLDEN, Colo., May 9, 2016 – The Mines chapter of the American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE) recently brought best-selling author Alex Epstein to campus. On April 26, 2016, as the 2nd annual AADE Keynote Speaker, Epstein delivered a talk based on his New York Times Best-Selling book: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. The chairs were filled with eager students and faculty from Mines’ petroleum engineering department, as well as local members of AADE and industry professionals.
Epstein’s talk opened new doors in the fossil fuel debate, bravely tackling the issue with what he calls a “humanist” approach, which largely combats the typical “environmentalist” approach of demonizing “Big Oil”. Epstein argues that people must realize that fossils fuels have and continue to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective sources of energy in the world, and utilizing them allows the developing world to thrive. As a humanist, he explains, he realizes the positive impact that fossil fuels have had on technology, medicine, and ultimately human life. “Alex Epstein is a rare voice challenging the putative tide of anti-hydrocarbon sentiment,” says Taylor Carlson, President of the Mines chapter of AADE. “We wanted to bring him in to encourage honest intellectual evaluation of a hotly debated topic, especially because our students are tied to the energy sector and work so hard to be great engineers, but often lack a true understanding of the moral/ethical foundations of the profession.”
Having a vested interest in the industry, the audience at Mines was exceptionally engaged by Epstein’s unique approach. Closing with, “We need to change the bias we have in our thinking that changing the planet is bad,” Epstein left the audience in a pensive and engaged state, thinking about the future. They were also left with many questions, which were fielded by a distinguished panel of experts. The panel consisted of industry professionals Todd Poulson (Integrated Petroleum Systems Inc.) and Rick Davis (AADE Board of Directors), Jeffco Energy Action Project’s Joni Inman, and Mines professors William Fleckenstein (PE) and Christian Shorey (GE).
See photos from the event in the slideshow below.
Agata Bogucka, Information Specialist, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | email@example.com
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3541 | firstname.lastname@example.org