Richard Newell on the Myth of Energy Independence

Newell will discuss the implications of the growing boom in U.S. oil and gas production

Even though the United States could possibly become the world's largest oil producer by 2020, America would still not be "energy independent." U.S. energy production would continue to be tied to global markets and climate concerns, according to professor Richard Newell, director of Duke's Energy Initiative. In a live "Office Hours" webcast interview at noon on Feb. 22, he will discuss advances and limits in American energy production.

Watch the interview live on this webpage or on Duke Today. Post a question for Newell on Twitter using @DukeOfficeHours or the Duke Office Hours Facebook page.

Newell, the Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at the Nicholas School of the Environment, is an expert on the economics of markets and policies for energy, the environment and related technologies.

"While the United States will produce more oil and gas, we cannot drill our way to energy independence," Newell said in a recent op-ed. "Yet we can reduce our exposure to energy risks by increasing energy efficiency and, as the president noted in his [State of the Union] address, we can increase energy resilience by diversifying our options through research and development of alternative fuels and technologies."

In a conference in Oslo, Norway, last fall, Newell said tapping into unconventional oil and gas sources, such as shale gas, could allow the U.S. to become a net exporter of natural gas within a generation.

Newell was head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration from 2009 to 2011 and has served on several advisory boards related to energy, environment and innovation.

"Office Hours" is Duke's live webcast series for the university community, and others, to engage with professors about their research and scholarship.