Welcome to our January edition of HARC news. Each month we include a variety of blogs, featured projects, and researcher updates to provide a look inside HARC.
A Vision of Energy for the Future
Advancing the Vital Conversation – HARC’s People and Nature Speaker Series
One of HARC’s key areas of focus is energy, and that is in large part due to our founder, George P. Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell pioneered new techniques for oil and gas drilling that led to the modern age of domestic natural gas development. He also championed natural resource protection and the quest for clean and renewable energy sources. He understood the important role of science in finding solutions to address climate change and enable mankind to adapt to a changing environment. This vision forms the foundation of HARC’s energy program. Our researchers work with partners throughout Texas and the U.S. to mitigate environmental impacts of oil and gas production and work to facilitate the transition to clean and renewable sources of energy for the future.
As home to some of the world’s largest and most active oil and gas companies, Houston is known as the “Energy Capital of the World”. Texas also leads the nation in installed wind energy capacity and is seventh in the nation in solar with a growing portfolio. Texas and Houston are national leaders in green building with more than 6,000 LEED certified projects in Texas and more than 900 in Houston. Houston is poised to lead Texas in an energy transition of its own with the advent of new technologies such as battery storage and the development of new financing programs such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). HARC actively works with leaders in industry, academia, and the environmental community to facilitate these advances.
HARC is delighted to host Bill Ritter, the 41st Governor of Colorado, at our People and Nature Speaker Series event on October 24th. Governor Ritter is recognized for establishing Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy. As governor, he signed 57 new energy bills into law, including a 30% Renewable Portfolio Standard and a Clean Air Clean Jobs Act that replaced nearly a gigawatt of coal-fired generation with natural gas. In 2011, he founded the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University where he serves as Director. The Center works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, companies and stakeholders by providing technical and strategic assistance to help decision makers create policies that facilitate America’s transition to a clean energy economy.
Governor Ritter articulates a vision of the energy revolution, in which Texas and Houston play a leading role. We hope that you will join us for an engaging evening with Governor Ritter as he speaks to, Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know about America’s Energy Revolution, the future of fossil fuels and renewable energy. Please join us at 6 p.m. on October 24th at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Brown Auditorium. The event will be followed by a book signing and reception with Governor Ritter. Please visit Eventbrite to reserve your seat today; we hope that you will join us.
HARC’s People & Nature Speaker Series, sponsored by the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, brings nationally recognized experts and the public together to talk openly from multiple viewpoints about issues facing our growing region. The People and Nature Speaker Series addresses a broad range of topics, exploring the extent and complexity of various sustainability issues on renewable and efficient energy resources, climate mitigation and resilience, sustainable water use, and more. Speakers include national experts and thought leaders from across the public, private and corporate sectors. The primary goal of such a program is to stimulate discussion, foster understanding, and inspire action and cooperation among our citizens and regional leaders.