ASPO-USA Conference Oct. 7 - 9: Agenda Now Available

ASPO-USA's 6th Annual Peak Oil Conference will honor its traditional core focus with a full agenda and world-class speakers who understand the global peak oil energy crisis and its complex socioeconomic and geopolitical impacts.

Speakers include Jeff Rubin (Former CIBC Chief Economist), Rear Admiral Lawrence Rice (on the military's Peak Oil Report), Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Dr. Bob Hirsch, Dr. Roger Bezdek, Dr. Tad Patzek, Nicole Foss, Chris Skrebowski, Charlie Maxwell, and John Michael Greer.

Oil Drum staff speaking at the plenary session include Arthur Berman and Dave Summers (Heading Out). Dave Murphy, Jeff Vail, Debbie Cook and Gail Tverberg will be speaking in breakout sessions. There will also be several Oil Drum "regulars" speaking, including Andre Angelantoni, Jeffrey Brown, and Jonathan Callahan.

As Peak Oil Moves into the mainstream, consumer advocate and policy expert Ralph Nader and Climate and Energy advocate Bianca Jagger will lend their support as well.

View the full speaker list here.

View the agenda here.

Register Today to take advantage of low registration fees; and join ASPO-USA to gain additional Membership Benefits.

Agenda Highlights
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Time Session
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Concurrent Breakout Sessions 1
TRACK A: Peak Oil: Scenario Planning: Preparing for Days Ahead
Moderator: Dick Vodra, Worldview Two Planning
- André Angelantoni, Post Peak Living
- John Michael Greer, author of The Archdruid Report

TRACK B: The Outlook for Net Exports of Oil, Natural Gas and Coal
Moderator: Ron Swenson, ASPO-USA
- Jeffrey Brown, Independent Petroleum Geologist
- Jonathan Callahan, Independent consultant

1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Concurrent Breakout Sessions 2
TRACK A: Peak Oil: Investing Beyond Oil & Gas
Moderator: Jim Hansen, Ravenna Capital Management
- Charles Schlumberger, The World Bank
- Gregor Macdonald,
- Kevin Hansen, Ravenna Capital Management
- Lily Donge, Calvert Asset Management Co.

TRACK B: Analysis from The Oil Drum
Moderator: Gail Tverberg, Editor, The Oil Drum, "What might trigger a downturn in world oil production"
- Dave Murphy, EROI Institute, SUNY-ESF "EROI, Insidious Feedbacks, and the End of Economic Growth"
- Dave Summers, Curators' Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology, "Reaching a Peak? of is this just a Technical Challenge?"
- Jeff Vail, Jeff Vail, LLC, Rescuing Suburbia

TRACK C: Message, Media and Outreach
Moderator: Jim Baldauf, Co-Founder and Board Member ASPO-USA
- Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen's Energy Program
- David Room, Co-founder of Bay Localize Board Member ASPO-USA
- Sharon Astyk, Writer and Board Member ASPO-USA

3:00 PM to 3:15 PM
3:15 PM to 4:45 PM
Concurrent Breakout Sessions 3
TRACK A: Peak Oil: Strategies for Oil & Gas Investing
Moderator: Jim Hansen, Ravenna Capital Management
- Charlie Maxwell, Weeden & Co
- Jason Stevens, Morningstar, Inc.
- Eric Chenoweth, Morningstar, Inc.
- Jim Baldauf, Co-Founder and Board Member

TRACK B: Post-Carbon Responses to the Sustainability Quandry
Presented by Post Carbon Institute
How do energy, economic, and environmental issues impact one another? What can we do to address one problem without making the others worse?

Moderator: Debbie Cook, Board President, Post Carbon Institute
- PCI Fellows Chris Martenson, Cindy Parker, and Tom Whipple; and Post Carbon Reader editor Daniel Lerch.

TRACK C: Energy Alternatives: What Will Work?
Using energy science in Public Policy and the need for an accurate energy scorecard

Moderator: Ron Swenson, Board Member ASPO-USA
- Charlie Hall, Professor, ESF/SUNY: "Assessing EROI for Old and New Energy Technologies"
- Bill James, President, JIT Corp: "Governing by economic work per unit of energy"
- Carey King, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Texas: "Envisioning EROI from supply to demand, from old to new energy"

4:45 PM to 6:00 PM
Meet and Greet Opening Reception
Join the conference speakers; network. Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Evening Keynote: Energy and National Security
Conference Introduction by Roscoe Bartlett

Moderator: Tom Whipple, ASPO-USA
- Lawrence Rice, Rear Admiral - Director of Strategy and Policy U.S. Joint Forces Command
- Michael Klare, Professor Hampshire College
- Daniel Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel United States Army

7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Exclusive Networking Event with Keynote Speakers and Energy Leaders
Limited space available. Pre-registration required. Limited to 100 people and part of the peak aware package


Friday, October 8, 2010
Time Session
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Plenary Day 1: The Energy Outlook
7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Conference Registration
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The Peak Oil Picture
Moderator: Michael Klare, Hampshire College
- Chris Skrebowski, Energy Institute, London "Latest Analysis of Future Oil Supply Capacity"
- Jeremy Gilbert, Barrelmore Ltd

Question and Answer

Keynote Address: Dr. James Schlesinger, Former Secretary of State and CIA Director "The Peak Oil Debate is Over"

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Fuel Standards For Trucks: Caveats And Implications For Oil Consumption
- Dr. Roger H Bezdek, PhD, President, Management Information Services, Inc.
10:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Natural Gas: Abundance or Mirage
Moderator: Dr. Tad Patzek, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
- Arthur Berman, Director, Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.
- Charles Maxwell, Senior Energy Analyst, Weeden & Co

Question and Answer

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Lunch Keynote and Awards
Oil and the End of Globalization
Jeff Rubin, former chief economist at CIBC World Markets

Presentation of M.K. Hubbert and Whipple awards

1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
The Coal Question
Moderator: Dr. David A. Summers, Curators' Professor at Missouri University of Science Technology
- Kjell Aleklett, Uppsala University, Sweden Outlook for Coal
- Dr. David Rutledge, California Institute of Technology, Coal, Climate Change, and Peak Oil

Question and Answer

3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Networking Break
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
The Link Between Energy and The Economy
Moderator: Dr. Robert Hirsch, Senior Energy Advisor MISI
- Dr. Chris Martenson, Energy Analyst and Creator, "The Crash Course"
- Nicole Foss, The Automatic Earth, "The Post-Peak Economy"

Question and Answer

5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Summary / Responder and Wrap-Up
Panel of plenary speakers respond to the days proceedings

Including Jeff Rubin and Charlie Maxwell

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Networking Reception
Please join us for hors d'oeuvres in exhibit area
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Evening Keynote and Discussion
"The Impending World Energy Mess - What it is and What it Means to You"
- Dr. Robert Hirsch, Senior Energy Advisor MISI
7:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Speakers Dinner
Advanced registration and payment required


Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time Session
7:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Plenary Day 2: Beyond Oil: Policy & Solutions
7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Conference Registration
8:00 AM to 8:15 PM
Opening Remarks
Terry Backer, State Representative, State of Connecticut
8:00 AM to 9:30 AM
Systemic Vulnerabilities
Moderator: Dr. Tad Patzek, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

The Gulf Spill, the Future of Exploration and the Emerging Liquid Fuel Crisis

- Dr. David A. Summers, Curators' Professor at Missouri University of Science Technology
- Arthur Berman, Director, Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.
- Rick Munroe, Energy Security Analyst, National Farmers Union of Canada

Question and Answer

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Networking Break
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
The Laws of Energy, Technology and Scale
Moderator: Ron Swenson, Board Member ASPO-USA
- Dr. Tad Patzek, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
- Ken Zweibel, Director The George Washington University Solar Institute

Question and Answer

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Lunch and Keynote
Matt Simmons remembrance and establishment of Simmons Memorial Award for Energy Innovation

Lunch Keynote on Energy and Policy by Ralph Nader

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Networking Break
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Can We Fill The Gap? Energy, Transportation and Food
Moderator: Debbie Cook, Former Mayor of City of Huntington Beach, Post Carbon Institute

- Dr. Charles E Schlumberger, Principal Air Transport Specialist: "The Future of Air Transportation"
- Anthony Perl, Author, "Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil"
- Fred Morse, U.S. senior adviser to Abengoa Solar: "Large Scale Renewable Energy"
- Sharon Astyk, Writer and Board Member ASPO-USA: "Feeding A Planet after Peak Oil"

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Where Do We Go From Here?
Question and Answer session with the day's speakers followed by closing remarks


This year's conference looks like it is shaping up to be quite an event. Sorry that I will miss it, as there are several people speaking this year that I have not met. But my schedule was too uncertain this year; I will likely be in Malaysia at that time looking at viable energy technologies for a post-peak world.

I agree, what a freaking line up. It's like the dream team of doom. Pretty impressive that a social misfit like myself could have fairly intimate access to these minds for a few hundred dollars. I hope that aspo can continue to offer such events to the public.

Military peak oil report? What, plans to bomb countries like China to pre-industrial consumption? Take over the oil fields of the Middle East? How the military can still effectively kill on fewer hydrocarbons? Maybe that's it. I seem to recall that Iraqi Freedom took far fewer men and material than Desert Strom. The main reason cited, fuel consumption of the Abrams Tank.

It is a reference to the report mentioned in this article:
US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015

Any plans for online participation? Podcasts? For those folks who can't justify the financial/resource consumption to attend (or those who may be saving for the Jon Stewart "Rally To Restore Sanity" event later in the month)?

Seriously, one hopes that this rare event will be opened to the non-traveling public somehow, so that it isn't just a case of preaching to the Peak Oil Elite choir.

Best hopes for an open source/free access ASPO-USA Conference!

I agree--
How about podcasts?
Quite the line up-- I must attend next year.

This year we are providing wifi Internet in all sessions to support live blogging. All attendees are encouraged to tweet with the hashtag peakoil2010.

In addition, one more on site ASPO-USA reporter position is available. ASPO-USA will cover registration fees for full peak aware package. Please email if interested.

Update: Climate and Energy Advocate Bianca Jagger will be attending all three days and is currently scheduled to speak on Saturday.

On bahalf of ASPO-USA,

- Greg

I'll be liveblogging the conference at

Sharon Astyk


After reading your profile and About page I am quite looking forward to meeting you and talking about life, family and community after hours. You can get a sense of my "urban Norman Rockwell" sensibilities on these old pages. (Family has kept me pretty busy since I wrote them but the attitudes expressed there are still valid.)



Question to Organizers :-

While I agree it is a phenomenal lineup of speakers, congratulations on that, it is one thing to get a bunch of advocates together to preach to the converted, but it is quite another to translate that into follow-up in the real world.

What are the follow-up plans from the conference, and what main-stream news outlets are planned to attend this year ?

We saw how much fuel was burned to get thousands of people to Copenhagen, and nothing meaningful came out of that. Sorry, I've attended my share of conferences over the years, but words need to translate into action, somewhere along the line.

One of the reasons the event is occurring in DC is so that we can take advantage of the site to generate as much action as possible - including a Congressional Briefing, Press Conference, Policy Recommendations and bringing in of Congressional Staffers. And the good thing is that most of the people attending the conference (not all, but a majority) live in the US and can take advantage of Amtrak and carpooling and other forms of more efficient transport.

Sharon Astyk


I really hope all the above takes place. That would be a very positive outcome.

Sometimes I feel like all we get to do is be the target audience for Peak Oil mutual funds, subscriber-only newsletters and someone's new book - no offense intended to published authors here, and bloggers genuinely trying to get the message out, and offer positive solutions.

I think each presenter should conclude their presentation with the three things they plan to do in the coming year to positively impact our predicament.

Well, the Congressional Briefing and Press Conference are definite, and ASPO is offering pre-conference materials to enable all attendees to visit with their congressperson's office. I do understand what you mean - there can be a "just talking to ourselves" effect - at the same time, I think we all notice that "ourselves" keeps getting bigger. I think ASPO is genuinely trying to reach out beyond the people who come at this from a technical or money standpoint, and offer some kind of voice into the mainstream - but it is challenging. I joined the board (after being a sometimes fierce critic of what I perceived as an organization that was unduly elitist and that failed to engage with solutions adequately) because they are trying to make such an enormous and potentially powerful change. It is, however, a work in process - and we can always use more hands.


Transportation to Convention Site

Per the map, the convention hotel is two blocks from DC's Union Passenger Terminal and near Capital Hill. It is basically impossible to park in that area.

DC UPT is served by Metro (Red Line), MARC (Maryland) & VRE (Virginia) commuter rail and Amtrak. Also public buses but I am unfamiliar with them. MARC & VRE do not run on weekends (MARC was planning to but budget cuts ...)

A number of workers live in Baltimore and work in DC, so commuting from Baltimore is feasible but wearing if you spend more than 8 hours in DC.

One can fly into BWI (usually cheaper, Southwest dominates), take a free 5 minute shuttle to the BWI AMtrak station. $6 via MARC (no weekend service), $13 via Amtrak to DC Union Station.

One can also take an express bus to a Green Line Metro station or take Baltimore's light rail line into town.

I plan to fly Southwest to BWI, book an inexpensive hotel within 2/3rds of a mile of a Metro station and commute via Metro to the conference.

Contact me as I develop details.

Best Hopes for Public Transit,


I recently got to tour the BNSF facilities and central control room. Pretty cool. Picked up something at the gift shop for you:

Speaking of ASPO, I need your numbers for miles of electrified rail put down during the late 19th to early 20th Century buildout of US electrified rail systems.

Two years ago I had the opportunity to stay in the Hyatt convention hotel while visiting relatives in the Baltimore/DC area. The hotel is conveniently located and quite nice. We chose it because of the availability of a small suite which we needed to sleep two families. We enjoyed eating at the American Indian Museum which was within walking distance. One can find an enclave of the homeless about two blocks in the opposite direction from the train station. We came in through BWI. In retrospect Washington National would have been far more convenient.

I was quite disappointed to see Bill James (owner & promoter of the unworkable jPods system) on the panel discussion.

Not good for ASPO credibility.


Oh, I think its worse than just that. Beyond the entrance fee of what, $300-$500, it appears to focus on web based personalities, bloggers, the usual blend of enthusiasts.

Where are the people even invited who have been involved, or do the science in, resource issues since before Colin declared peak in 1989? While pretending to be objective is undoubtedly important, we aren't talking about standard website groupthink here. You want a real meeting? Invite the real people who might not agree with you....and so what? Either the idea is worth being taken seriously and being debated on its merits against at least one decent dissenter, or its just a meat world meeting for the same type of cocktail party depth of conversation so pervasive on the web.

Do you have any idea how many times ASPO has tried to get CERA and Daniel Yergin to attend their conferences? Offered to pay their way to come and disagree publically? As far as I know, no such offer has ever been made reciprocally.

Do you have any idea how many oil industry figures have attended over the years who have, over the years, and offered different projections than many people at ASPO take seriously? Quite a lot of them, frankly.

Moreover, let's be honest - the techno-optimists have the support of every nation, every world media outlet, and are the public face of the industry. It is bizarre at best, if not disingenuous to suggest that the one time a year that peak oil gets some mainstream attention, ASPO should be spending a large chunk of its time giving voice to those who have voice every single day. That said, however, ASPO actually does a lot more of that than you clearly know anything about.



You want a real meeting? Invite the real people who might not agree with you


Do you have any idea how many times ASPO has tried to get CERA and Daniel Yergin to attend their conferences? Offered to pay their way to come and disagree publically? As far as I know, no such offer has ever been made reciprocally.

Isn't it called projection when someone, e.g., the techno-optimists, accuse you of what they themselves have been doing?

In any case, I am launching an online petition drive which demands that private oil companies be allowed unlimited access to the world's producing regions, so that they can do worldwide what they have achieved in Texas (blue) and the North Sea (black):

Techno-optimists? You mean, the people who didn't run screaming OH NOES! when Jimmy Carter told us we were running out? Just because perfectly rational people don't buy the Malthus/Ehrlich/Campbell koolaid doesn't make them optimists, based on the results of past resource depletion scares it makes them realists.

As far as what ASPO is doing, while the creation of intellectual echo chambers is an interesting exercise, it doesn't have much to do with the actual science of resource depletion. IMHO.

Reserve -

This conference is focused on Peak Oil and the future of energy and the economy. A speaker at the ASPO-USA Conference does not represent the views of ASPO-USA. For example, breakout sessions are developed almost entirely by the lead person or organization that is running the breakout topic as part of ASPO-USA's open tent approach.

There are many very different viewpoints represented at this year's conference and the agenda was setup to facilitate a lot of debate and discussion.

In terms of opposing views on Peak Oil being an issue - for example - ASPO-USA has invited Daniel Yergin to the event many times.

In terms of opposing views on Peak Oil being an issue - for example - ASPO-USA has invited Daniel Yergin to the event many times

So ask someone who does science on this topic rather than the ones which make fun of peak oil. I'm not suggesting a catfight, I'm suggesting that qualified people debate the topic in something other than an echo chamber, and that list isn't restricted to Yergin, hell, I'm not even sure that list includes him. Ask people who do this for a living, and do the science involved. They aren't hard to find.

Many of the people present do science on this topic, not just you. You've proposed one name - located in Australia. Do you really think that the best possible use of fossil fuels is for us to fly this person to the US? Or is your list of "real scientists" so short that it doesn't include any Americans (or anyone but this person)?

We will cheerfully take into account serious suggestions for next year's conference. But I don't get the sense you are offering serious suggestions, so much as setting up a strawman of "real science" that pretty much is you and one other person.


You've proposed one name - located in Australia. Do you really think that the best possible use of fossil fuels is for us to fly this person to the US? Or is your list of "real scientists" so short that it doesn't include any Americans (or anyone but this person)?

You've got to be kidding? People are flying from all sorts of places to this conference right? If anyone gave a rats behind about minimizing fossil fuel use you would set up a massive WebEx and not use this excuse for someone with actual scientific credentials on a macro scale for this particular topic.

You want someone in the US because then they only spew a few tons of CO2 instead of a few more tons? Sure...PM and I'll provide a short list.

As for the science crack...funny...I listed about half a dozen names in an edited version of the prior post and then realized that this might be impolite. If you aren't familiar with scientists working in and around resource issues for a quarter century or more I'm not about to provide a list of targets to the crackpots who lurk.

Anyone coming in on Oct 6th and want to meet for dinner/drinks/discussion? I am at BWI for a DOE conference Oct 6-7 but have to fly out evening of the 7th.

My current plans include flying in on October 6th into BWI. Other people to meet on the 7th, but the 6th is still open.

What is the conference subject ?

My eMail in is my profile.

Best Hopes,