College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Energy Diversity Not Energy Independence


11/12/2009

by Sarah Small

Andy Milnes head of supply and trading for BP America, presented a lecture about the economic perspective of energy policies and environmental planning on October 28 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

Milnes’ lecture was in concordance with the Alan M. Hallene lecture series. The series was made possible by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation that was awarded to the Hoeft Technology and Management program to endow the series as a way to honor Hallene, a former member of the MacArthur Foundation. These lectures allow University students and faculty to stay educated on the current business environment.

In his lecture, Milnes looked at United States energy policies throughout history, and discussed the necessary balance between a well designed energy policy and thriving energy markets.

“To think about appropriate energy policy, we have to think about what’s going on in this new environment and understand how the world energy markets have been involved,” Milnes said. “In particular, how’s the U.S.’s role in these markets being changed?”

He emphasized the increasing demand for energy in fast-growing countries like China, and stressed that as the oil demand for these countries continues to grow, they will become greater and greater factors in the economy of energy prices. No longer, he said, do the world’s energy sources revolve around the United States, but now there are many key countries demanding the world’s energy resources.

David Olsen, junior in finance, attended the lecture to support the Hoeft Technology and Management program that sponsored the event, and of which he is a member. He said he also attended to get more information about BP and the global energy markets.

“I think one of the most important things discussed in the presentation was the stability of governments and its importance for companies when doing business in countries,” Olsen said.

He also said it was interesting to hear about regulations facing the oil industry and the course of action BP is taking in response to these regulations.

“Independence should not be our goal, but rather diversity,” Milnes said. “The problem is too big globally now for any one government to solve on its own.”

UIUC College of Business