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May 18: “Geostrategy and Petropolitics: Does US Energy Policy Make Any Sense?”

Wednesday, May 18 — 5:30 cocktail reception; 6:30 dinner; 7:15 talk

Robert Ebel, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Project

Where? Butler University: Johnson Room, Robertson Room

Indiana Council on World Affairs, distinguished speakers dinner

Global petroleum politics seem to tie the US inextricably to some of the most troubled and troubling parts of the world. The reason is partly because Americans are the largest consumers of oil, partly because the health of the global economy depends on the secure flow of inexpensive energy to Europe, China, Japan as well as to the United States … and as the most powerful military, the US has taken upon itself the role of doing what is necessary to ensure the oil keeps being pumped and shipped. The results can be seen in every day’s headlines. Things will only get more difficult in the decades ahead as oil supplies grow more scarce and demand continues to rise in countries such as India and China.

To what degree does US energy policy contribute to this problem? Few experts are better equipped to help us understand this than Robert Ebel. Ebel is chairman of the CSIS Energy Program, where he provides analysis on world oil and energy issues, with particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf. He is also codirector of the Caspian Sea Oil Study Group and the Oil Markets Study Group. In addition, he has directed studies on global nuclear materials management and on the geopolitics of energy. Mr. Ebel served with the CIA for 11 years and spent over 7 years with the Office of Oil and Gas in the Department of the Interior. He also served for some 14 years as vice president, international affairs, at ENSERCH Corporation, advising the corporation and its subsidiaries on international issues relevant to day-to-day operations. Mr. Ebel has traveled widely in the former Soviet Union. He was a member of the first U.S. oil delegation to visit that country, in l960, and in l970 was in the first group of Americans to inspect the new oil fields of Western Siberia. In 1997, he led an International Energy Agency team examining the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In 2002, he participated in the Sudanese peace talks, held in Machakos, Kenya, and in 2002-2003, he worked with a group of former Iraqi oil officials, under the Department of State's Future of Iraq Project, to produce an assessment of the Iraqi oil sector.

If you want to learn more about Robert Ebel's thinking about US energy policy, check out his recent testimony to Congress or an important article from the New Yorker last year.

Reservations should be made by calling 317/566-2036. Dinner for members of ICWA is $20.00, and for nonmembers, it is $22.00. All reservations must be received by Friday, May13. Nonmembers must prepay, and all mailed reservations must be at Office Suites Plus by Thursday, May 12.

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