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Energy expert comes to Edwards

Stephen Bedford
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Edwards CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyAuthor Antonia Juhasz will speak at The Bookworm of Edwards Monday.
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EDWARDS, Colorado ” The Bookworm of Edwards will host energy industry expert and author Antonia Juhasz, whose recent expose on the oil lobby, “The Tyranny of Oil,” has been turning heads since it release in the late fall. Juhasz, a Boulder native, examines the rise and increasing influence of the oil industry in global politics, economics, and its affects on our day-to-day life.

Vail Daily: Are you more excited for January 20 as an ending point or starting point?

Antonia Juhasz: As a starting point. Obama’s election marks a fundamentally new approach to the twin issues of the U.S. oil industry and climate change from that of the Bush administration. Most important, however, is the political movement that swept Obama into office, and the readiness of so much of the American public to take on the challenges before us as activists, rather than disgruntled observers. In addition, there is far more good will around the world toward the Obama administration than there was toward that of George W. Bush. There are tremendous opportunities in terms of implementing meaningful policies to reign in the oil industry and tackle climate change.

VD: Do you think the Obama administration will seriously challenge the oil constituency while expanding programs relating to alternative energy? And how fast might those changes take effect?

AJ: The likelihood of the Obama administration successfully taking on the oil constituency depends largely on how much pressure, we, the public, are able to apply to the administration to counteract the massive pressure he is going to receive from the oil constituency. The good news is that opposition to the industry has likely never been higher. Moreover, the Obama administration is deeply dedicated to the creation of “green” and “green collar” jobs, investments in expanding alternative energy, and ending many subsidies begun under the Bush administration.

VD: Colorado has seen its role as an energy player grow increasingly during the past few years. How do you think the state fits into the energy fabric, and what could Coloradans gain/lose as a result?

AJ: I devote a large segment of my book to the discussion of oil shale development in Colorado. Producing oil form shale takes an enormous amount of energy and causes the emission of higher amounts of global warming pollution than conventional development. Each company is trying a different method. [These methods] are highly polluting and destructive of the environment in a wide variety of ways. They all release pollutants into the air that can increase global warming, asthma, emphysema, cause mercury poisoning, and even lead to premature death.

VD: Is there any right or wrong answer to offshore drilling?

AJ: One key problem I discuss is that, in the words of one Chevron employee, offshore drilling “is a total crapshoot” because it’s incredibly expensive and on average just 20 percent of holes actually yield any oil. Every hole that is 500 feet or deeper releases methane, a green house gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its contribution to global warming.

VD: Lastly, what does someone in such a controversial field do to relax?

AJ: I like taking long walks around San Francisco, playing pool, reading, and thinking about anything other than politics.

Stephen Bedford works at The Bookworm of Edwards.

Who: Antonia Juhasz, author of “The Tyranny of Oil”

When: Monday, 6 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $20, and include wine and appetizers

More information: Call 970-926-READ


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