Past Seminar

U.S. Energy Security, Speaker Bios

About the Event

U.S. Energy Security: Traditional and Emerging Challenges

An RFF Symposium
RFF Conference Center
1616 P Street, NW, Washington, DC
Monday, January 28th  8:45 am to 3:00 pm

Speaker Profiles

HOWARD GRUENSPECHT is a Resident Scholar in Resources for the Future’s (RFF) Energy and Natural Resources Division. Prior to joining RFF, he spent nine years with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he worked most recently as director of the Office of Economic, Electricity, and Natural Gas Analysis. His past positions include: senior staff economist with the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President; economic adviser to the Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, assistant professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration, and assistant director, Economics and Business, White House Domestic Policy Staff.

At RFF, Dr. Gruenspecht focuses on the analysis of energy and energy-related environmental issues. His current research interests include: the economic, environ-mental, and reliability implications of electricity restructuring; "grandfathering" in environmental regulations; greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies; and the design of federal energy-efficiency standards for major appliances. He has published various books and numerous journal articles. Dr. Gruenspecht received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and BA in economics from McGill University in Canada.  

ERIC HIRST is an independent consultant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, focusing on electric-industry restructuring. For 30 years (1970-2000), he worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; in 1985 he was appointed a Corporate Fellow, a distinction shared by only 1% of the ORNL technical staff. His consulting practice deals with the characteristics, requirements, costs, market rules and prices for ancillary services; bulk-power reliability (adequacy and security); market structures for RTOs; transmission planning; stranded costs; and the possible effects of changes in bulk-power markets on environmental quality.

During the past 25 years, Dr. Hirst was on assignment for a year or more with the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies (1992-93), Puget Sound Power & Light (1986-87), the Minnesota Energy Agency (1979), and the Federal Energy Administration (1974-75).

Dr. Hirst has recently conducted projects for BC Hydro, Puget Sound Energy, AES, El Paso Power Services, the California ISO, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, New Century Energies, American Electric Power, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Edison Electric Institute, the North Carolina Study Commission, and the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. He served as staff to the Department of Energy's Task Force on Electric-System Reliability and is a member of NERC's Interconnected Operations Services Implementation Task Force. The diversity of Dr. Hirst's clients attests to his deserved reputation for professional integrity and even-handedness.

Dr. Hirst holds a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He has published more than 400 reports, journal articles, and book chapters, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and workshops.

PAUL LEIBY is on the Senior Research Staff of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Energy Division, where he has worked since 1987. Prior to that, he was a research fellow at Harvard University's Energy and Environmental Policy Center. Mr. Leiby's recent research topics include energy security, oil market modeling, the evaluation of emergency oil stockpiling policies, the economic analysis of alternative motor fuels, and greenhouse gas emission management policies.

Mr. Leiby has served on panels including the Office of Technology Assessment's Advisory Group on Industry for their 1991 study on greenhouse gas reductions, the Energy Modeling Forum's panels on World Oil Modeling and Energy Security, and the Transportation Research Board's Alternative Fuels Committee. He received his Masters Degree in Public Policy and his Baccalaureate Degree from Harvard University.

LOUIS G. LEFFLER is Manager - Projects with the North American Electric Reliability Council. In this position, he assists the electric power industry in the maintenance of reliable operations. He serves as Coordinator for the Electricity Sector in the Critical Infrastructure Protection program.

Mr. Leffler's career in the electric power industry with the Public Service Electric and Gas Company of New Jersey included assignments in power production, power station engineering (fossil and nuclear), and power system operations. He was Chief Engineer of a 1300 MW power station and General Manager System Operations. As Project Manager for the General Agreement on Parallel Paths, Mr. Leffler assisted in shaping policy and practices intended to assure reliable and equitable use of the interconnected transmission systems of the eastern United States and Canada.

Mr. Leffler's education includes a degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, together with Master's work in Business Administration at Harvard University and power system engineering at the General Electric Company. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New Jersey.

BARRY D. MCNUTT is a Senior Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Policy. His primary responsibilities include analysis and policy development of transportation efficiency, alternative fuel, clean fuels, and reformulated gasoline issues. His other work has included analysis of transportation energy use demand and development of new analytical techniques. Mr. McNutt is DOE's lead analyst and technical representative on clean fuel regulatory and refinery issues and recently chaired the Coordinating Subcommittee and the Producibility Workgroup of the National Petroleum Council's Refining and Product Deliverability Study. He was a member of EPA's Blue Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates, a member of the Phase II RFG Task Group, and has chaired other NPC studies on refining and petroleum product inventory.

Mr. McNutt has been with the Policy Office since DOE's formation in 1977. Prior to that time, he was with the Federal Energy Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. He represents DOE at numerous national and international meetings on transportation, energy, and fuel issues. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the author of numerous technical and policy papers and presentations on transportation energy use, fuels, and fuel economy. Mr. McNutt holds B.A. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University.

MICHAEL A. TOMANis a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF) and former director of its Energy and Natural Resources Division. A researcher at RFF since 1981, his interests include: climate change policy; emission-permit trading; environmental strategies for sustainable development; Central and Eastern Europe; and energy security.

Dr. Toman has served as a senior economist on the staff of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers (1994-95), advising the staff of the Council on policy issues concerning natural resources and the environment. He has also served as a visiting economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (1987) and on the faculties of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. He received his doctorate degree in economics from the University of Rochester.

DR. ROBERT J. WEINER is Chairman of the Department of International Business and Professor of International Business and International Affairs at the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University. There he teaches international financial management, international financial markets, and international portfolio management. He is concurrently Membre Associé, GREEN (Groupe de Recherche en Économie de l'Énergie et des Ressources Naturelles), Département d'économique, Université Laval, Québec.

Professor Weiner has also taught at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the Royal Complutense University (Spain), where he has offered courses in finance, international business, industrial organization, and environmental and natural-resource economics. He has lectured to executives in Russia, Spain, and the United States. During the 1997-1998 academic year, he was Visiting Professor of International Economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

He has been Research Fellow in the International Energy Program, Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and consultant to the International Petroleum Exchange; the New York Mercantile Exchange; the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. International Trade Commission; the Harvard Institute for International Development; the World Bank; and private clients. Professor Weiner has won research awards from the Ministère des Affaires Internationales, Québec; Resources for the Future; the Columbia Center for the Study of Futures Markets; and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Professor Weiner received his Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics, and Master's and Doctoral Degrees in Business Economics, all from Harvard University. He has authored or coauthored four books (Energy and Environment, Oil Shock, Oil and Money, and Oil Markets in a Turbulent Era), and more than fifty articles on environmental and natural resource economics, focusing on contracting, risk management, and the oil and gas industry. Professor Weiner's current research interests and projects include financial innovation in commodity markets, foreign investment and joint ventures in the Russian petroleum industry, oil and gas trading and derivative markets, risk management in the oil and gas industry, national income accounting for sustainable development, transfer pricing in multinational enterprise, and privatization and the behavior of state-owned enterprises in the world petroleum market.

MINE YÜCEL is a Senior Economist and Assistant Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She has been with the Bank since 1989. Prior to joining the Bank Yücel was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Louisiana State University. As an energy economist and head of the Bank's regional group, she analyzes the regional economy and energy markets on an ongoing basis and is an advisor to the Bank's president on regional and energy issues.

Ms. Yücel's main research interests are analyzing the effects of energy price shocks, energy markets, regional growth and the growth effects of fiscal and monetary policy. She is a member of the American Economic Association and the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE) and is a past president of the D/FW Chapter of the IAEE. She is on the executive board of the Dallas Chapter of Women in Technology International, Inc. and has served on the executive board of the United States Association of Energy Economics. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey and a Ph.D. in Economics from Rice University in Houston, Texas. 

RFF scholars are engaged with the linked issues of energy and climate policy on numerous fronts.  Much of the work in this area is conducted within two RFF programs, the Climate Policy Program and the Electricity and Environment Program.  Issues studied include how to cost-effectively constrain greenhouse gas emissions and limit cost uncertainties, strategies for promoting developing country engagement, policies to reduce emissions through averted deforestation and afforestation, and the question of climate change adaptation. Additionally, RFF researchers are tackling the question of U.S. energy security by examining options for reducing U.S. dependence on oil.