Tom Ridge Delivers Chesapeake Energy Lecture

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tom RidgeOn December 9, Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania, delivered the third annual Chesapeake Energy Lecture hosted by The University of Tulsa and the National Energy Policy Institute (NEPI).

Ridge’s presentation at TU’s Allen Chapman Activity Center addressed “National Security, Energy Independence, and the Promise of Clean Natural Gas.”

Ridge said that the past eight United States presidents have pledged to set the country on a course for energy independence, but it is yet to happen, despite the importance of having such a plan in place. In fact, U.S. dependence on foreign oil, he noted, has continued to increase, which puts pressure on the nation to provide stability in certain regions of the world to protect those energy sources.

Natural gas should be an important part of a national energy policy, Ridge said, because there are large supplies of it in the U.S. and it is environmentally cleaner than some other energy sources. However, he stressed that renewable sources of energy should be a part of a national energy strategy as well.

Brad Carson, former Oklahoma Congressman and current NEPI Director and TU Associate Professor of Business, welcomed the crowd. Henry Hood, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, introduced Ridge.

Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global. As the company’s chief executive, he leads a team of international experts who help businesses and governments address a range of needs throughout their organizations, including risk management and global trade security, strategic business generation, technology integration, event security, crisis management, campus security, and other issues that encompass a diverse portfolio.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Ridge became the first Assistant to the President of the United States for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He served as Pennsylvania’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001, and prior to that as a six-term Congressman.

The Chesapeake Energy Lecture Series is a component of the Chesapeake Scholars Program, a partnership between the TU College of Law and Chesapeake Energy. The partnership allows the law school to strengthen its recruitment of students interested in careers in the oil and gas industry. Additionally, the company’s support promotes the mission of NEPI, which is headquartered at TU and funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. NEPI is dedicated to identifying economically and environmentally sound solutions to the challenge of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and to building new businesses based on those solutions.

Three distinct areas are being addressed by the Chesapeake Scholars Program, including student scholarships and curriculum enhancements, along with the lecture series. This program is further strengthened by interdisciplinary options made available through the energy management program in TU’s Collins College of Business and energy-related classes in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Scott Been