Perhaps because energy is a priority across global economic agendas, The New York Times hosted a conference for leaders in energy to talk about the globalization of demand and debate how to finance and secure the world energy supply.
The conference had about 400 invited guests and several important speakers on the issue, including Steven Chu, Nobel winner prize winner for physics and current Secretary for Energy in the Obama administration; Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and authority on energy issues and policy, international politics and economics; Carol Browner, former assistant to President Obama and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy; T. Boone Pickens, founder and chairman, BP Capital Management, and founder of the grassroots campaign the Pickens Plan; Lester Brown, founder and president, Earth Policy Institute, Jim Rogers, chairman, president and C.E.O., Duke Energy, Jochen Flasbarth, president, Federal Environment Agency, Germany, and Phil Radford, executive director, Greenpeace USA.
Moderators include NYT columnists and authors: Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist; Clifford Krauss, national business correspondent; and Joe Nocera, Op-Ed columnist.
Steven Chu was upbeat about clean energy in his discussion with Tom Friedman. Despite the political partisanship in Washington, he said he believes there are people on the other side of the aisle that recognize the economic opportunity.
The audience was perhaps most restive on the issue of natural gas extraction and “fracking.” During that panel a man in the audience stood up to shout a question to Joe Nocera demanding if he (Nocera) believed in climate change. The heckler was nearly thrown out by security, but Nocera answered that he did believe in climate change and the fellow calmed down.