Economists at the National Economists Conference in February 2012.

Every attendee at the USAEE/IAEE conference this week has something important to add, from the university students giving their first professional presentations and preparing to enter a rapidly expanding industry to the former ambassadors and corporate chiefs gathered to headline sessions and lunches at the event Austin.

Breaking Energy is part of this discussion in the capital of Texas over the first days of November, held against the backdrop of an anticipated but still historic election and the inevitable discussion of what the lessons are from Hurricane Sandy’s massive disruptions to energy supply.

If you are at the conference, let us know what your impressions are in the comments below, in person, or via our social media platforms. We’re on Twitter, have a LinkedIn discussion group, and a Facebook page.

Here are some early comments from some of the attendees closely involved in organizing the events in Austin

Robert Borgstrom
Concurrent Session Chair
Advisor on Energy Regulatory Policy and Management

“The three day conference will have an extensive Concurrent Sessions program featuring 45 panels and nearly 200 member presentations on research and case studies in 12 topic areas, from petroleum, natural gas and electricity through unconventional fuels, renewables and energy modelling issues.”

“The presentations were selected by a competitive process of peer reviews involving members from all segments of the energy economics community — business/consulting, government and academia, including student members – in North America and from affiliated chapters of IAEE around the world. We’re very much looking forward to one of the largest and most interesting conferences in our organization’s history.”

Peter Nance
Past President of USAEE

“A large number of people have worked very hard to put together a premier conference in Austin this year. With a unique blend of business, academic, and governmental attendees providing perspectives from North America and around the world, I hope you’ll find new ideas and solutions to your energy questions that are tangible, feasible, and intellectually challenging all at the same time. I think folks will enjoy the results of their work.”

“Austin is a vibrant hub for both conventional and renewable energy innovation. I hope every participant leaves with at least one new idea that challenges his or her previous thoughts about energy.”

“Recent weather events have again highlighted the vulnerability of U.S. energy infrastructure to natural disasters. Yet, we also have aging infrastructure and new energy demands on it. How can we do a better job of integrating new natural gas and power infrastructure in this environment? Can market solutions meet these new challenges?”

“Whether your interest is in microgrids, renewable energy, or the future role of the Smart Grid, we have a session to help contribute to the conversation. And, your participation in technical tours including the Pecan Street Project may help give you a new perspective about some of the challenges and potential solutions.”

Peter Hartley
Current USAEE President
Professor and Baker Institute Fellow, Rice University

“The basics of economic analysis of the industry have not changed – it is just that new facts about costs of supply here in North America have made previous forecasts incorrect.”

“Evidence, or information, on what is happening in the industry is also an important part of these conferences. Employment growth over the last few years has been noticeably higher in those states where there has been strong activity in developing unconventional natural gas and oil resources. This activity spilled over into firms supplying inputs to the oil and gas industry and to firms taking advantage of cheaper natural gas prices in particular.”