In response to the growing challenge of the anthropogenic origins of climate change, a New Energy Economy has been proposed. Supporters have firmly laid the notion that innovation and investment across a broad spectrum of energy markets as well as a rapid upheaval of the current fossil dominated energy landscape. Critics have suggested that the New Energy Economy represents an exercise in magical thinking and a near term transition is impossible. The symposium focuses on understanding the technological challenges and enablers, the economics and business case for the two scenarios as well as the societal impact of the choices.
Robinson Meyer is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers climate change. He has reported from Capitol Hill, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Viking ruins on the Faroe Islands, among other places. In 2018, he contributed to an investigation that found then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had bypassed the White House to give large raises to favored aides, reporting said to influence Pruitt’s resignation four months later.
Meyer has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, BBC, and other major broadcast outlets to discuss his work. He was an inaugural winner of the SEAL Award in Environmental Journalism in 2017. He joined The Atlantic in 2013, and lives in Washington, D.C.
Christy Clark led Canada’s third largest province for over six years. Throughout her tenure, Clark demonstrated the strongest performance of any Canadian Premier for economic growth, fiscal management and job creation.
As Premier, Clark set an ambitious goal to create a new liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia. During her time in office, three LNG pipeline projects received their federal approvals, with multiple more project approvals in process. Last year, Shell finalized its decision to start construction on a $40 billion LNG Canada project – the largest single private sector investment in Canadian history.
Today Clark is a Senior Advisor at Bennett Jones LLP.
Ajay Mehta works in Shell’s technology organization where he serves as the General Manager for New Energies Research & Technology. He leads a global team of over a hundred scientists and engineers dedicated to developing innovative and competitive technologies to meet the demand for more and cleaner energy. Ajay has worked at Shell for his entire career of 23 years. He has assumed a wide range of technical and leadership roles in Deepwater R&D, Production Operations, CO2 Mitigation, Project Engineering and General Management.
He is a subject matter expert on natural gas hydrates and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Ajay holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John Hofmeister is a key member of the United States Energy Security Council, a bipartisan group which includes former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and two former secretaries of defense, William J. Perry and Harold Brown, as well as three former national security advisers, a former C.I.A. director, two former senators, a Nobel laureate, a former Federal Reserve chairman, and several Fortune-50 chief executives.
Upon retirement from Shell Oil Company in 2008, Hofmeister founded and heads the not-for-profit (501(c)(3) nation-wide membership association, Citizens for Affordable Energy. This Washington, D.C.-registered, public policy education firm promotes sound U.S. energy security solutions for the nation, including a range of affordable energy supplies, efficiency improvements, essential infrastructure, sustainable environmental policies and public education on energy issues.
As Shell president, Hofmeister launched an extensive outreach program, unprecedented in the energy industry, to discuss critical global energy challenges. The program included an 18 month, 50-city engagement program across the country during which he led 250 other Shell leaders to meet with more than 15,000 business, community and civic leaders, policymakers, and academics to discuss what must be done to ensure affordable, available energy for the future. A business leader who has participated in the inner workings of multiple industries for over 35 years, Hofmeister also has held executive leadership positions in General Electric, Nortel and AlliedSignal (now Honeywell International).
Hofmeister serves as the chairman of the National Urban League and is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee. He serves as non-executive director of the Hunting PLC, London, UK, CAMAC Energy, Inc., Sodexo North America Business Advisory Board, advisor to Liberty Power of Fort Lauderdale, Fl, the nation’s largest minority owned power company. He also serves on the boards of the National Energy Security Council, Washington, D.C.; the Foreign Policy Association, New York; Strategic Partners, LLC; the Gas Technology Institute and the Center for Houston’s Future. Hofmeister is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. Hofmeister also is a former chairman and now serves as a director emeritus of the Greater Houston Partnership. He is active in education serving on the Energy Advisory Board at the University of Houston.
Hofmeister earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Kansas State University. In May 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Houston. John Hofmeister is the author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).