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GEM students gain exposure to energy industry in Washington, DC

April 22, 2013

Washington good

Global Energy Management student Femi Bamgbose loved “every minute” of the special topics course he participated in with several of his classmates earlier this month in Washington, DC.

“The thing I enjoyed most is the exposure to many different perspectives within the energy industry,” said the Senior Engineering Tech at Brookhaven National Laboratory. “Getting to see and meet the behind the scene people who contribute their very best to the growth and development of the industry … All of these experiences will remain with me forever.”

The two-day course was led by GEM instructor Herb Rubenstein and Sarah Loughran, GEM’s Associate Director of Programs and Stakeholder Relations. Eleven GEM students had the opportunity to meet with energy officials from government, nonprofit, and international sectors.

Bamgbose was fascinated by the different kinds of solar panels displayed at the Department of Energy. He and his classmates visited with officials from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies and learned about the clean energy race, energy security, and economic security. Also, they learned of the importance for government and private entities to invest in energy research and development, and they discussed the policies behind the energy industry and how to access capital. 

Additionally, the group of students discovered how the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy helps drive both the economy and nation to be more energy efficient and less dependent on foreign oil.

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Department of Energy

“The pipelines transporters are well represented in Washington, DC,” Bamgbose said. “Pipelines are more secured than any other form of transporting liquids from point to point. The American Petroleum Institute is very solid in Washington, D.C. They promote the petroleum industry’s interest and help educate the public about the importance of producing here at home in a safe and environmentally responsible manner because we have the resources in abundance which in turn helps secure energy in the United States. The Nuclear Energy Institute is strong and solid. It is important that the United States sell its nuclear technology to other countries rather than let other countries with poor record of transparency do that.”

“Everything I heard opened me up to another level of understanding and interest in the energy industry,” Bamgbose said. “The energy industry is very dynamic in many ways. Every energy expert in different fields of energy brought different information and knowledge to the conversation. All the different sources of energy are very important. They all help us reduce our reliance on foreign sources.”

Mark Reynolds, a Minerals Revenue Specialist at U.S. Department of the Interior, enjoyed the collaboration with the different cohorts, new connections with colleagues, and “synergy that only DC can provide.”

“The greatest thing I learned is that my rose colored glasses of a small energy world have been removed,” Reynolds said who is a member of Cohort 9. “I am grateful that the GEM program is giving me a great opportunity to connect with so many people who are shaping energy policy and developing energy regulations and objectives.” 

GEM student Brian Carroll, a member of Cohort 8, learned the most from the Department of Energy and its role in the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. He also enjoyed meeting with officials from the Nuclear Energy Institute, World Bank, and Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

“Inadvertently, I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to meet members of the other cohorts,” said Brian Carroll, who is a Property Manager at Park Plaza Properties, LLC.

GEM student Eric Van Orden, a member of Cohort 7 and executive director of the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition, said the trip was highly relevant to his professional work.

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Department of Energy

 “I made some great connections with the presenting organizations and, of course, my GEM classmates,” Van Orden said. “Plus, I learned a lot about national policy for energy. Mainly that energy policy is decided locally at the state level, for now. I learned about a pending ‘race to the top’ type policy for energy, similar to the Race to the Top for education.”

He was also able to make professional contacts from Washington, DC.

“The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy was very relevant to my day-to-day business,” Van Orden said. “I made a professional connection that will be very useful for my efforts when I come back to work in Colorado.”

GEM offers this special topics course twice a year, GEMM 6690. The next course will take place in London from Sunday, Sep. 29 to Friday, Oct. 4. For more information contact Sarah Loughran, GEM’s Associate Director of Programs and Stakeholder Relations.

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