From the President, USAEE

James L. Smith
Cary M. Maguire Chair in Oil & Gas Management

Edwin L. Cox School of Business

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX




My best new year’s greetings go out to all USAEE members.

The past year was certainly interesting from the energy point of view, with enough disruptions to keep all of us busy, puzzled, and thinking hard for many months to come.  Since not one of the volatile elements that have recently upset the global energy scene has yet expired, we all better keep our thinking caps on and continue to pay close attention.  This is where the diverse membership of the USAEE comes to the fore.  The interplay of ideas among our business, government, and academic members creates unique perspectives and insights that transcend the usual boundaries—as recently demonstrated at the highly successful USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Pittsburgh.  I applaud all the planners, participants, and sponsors who contributed to that event for a job well done.  And we look forward to more of the same in October 2016 for our 34th USAEE/IAEE North American Conference to be held in Tulsa.

One of the fundamental principles of economics is that all prices are relative.  As the price of crude oil fell precipitously during the past year, so were all other forms and sources of energy “repriced” as a result.  The path forward is far from clear, with unknown implications for private investment, energy efficiency, environmental policy, technological innovation, economic growth, and patterns of international trade.  The agenda for energy researchers has never been so full and rich, and the role of an organization like USAEE—which strives to promote broad public discussion and understanding of how energy markets and policies affect all our lives—has never been more important. 

Any organization whose membership consists primarily of old geezers and older geezers is fraught with the challenge of sustaining its relevance and poise.  Fortunately, the USAEE is not in that category.  Although we celebrate the founders who guided the organization to its present position, one glance at the roster of current Council officers and committee members assures me that the influx of fresh ideas and new energy continues apace.  We have aged gracefully, without becoming old.  And, if you have so far been hanging back, now is an excellent time to become more directly involved in the activities, leadership, and governance of the Association.

I wish to thank Immediate Past-President Troy Thompson and his team for leading us through a successful 2015.  I also thank all USAEE members who have worked so hard to promote the mission and goals of the Association.  We need your ideas, your participation, and your feedback.  With this resolve, and braced for the exciting challenges that lie ahead, may we all enter the new year with enthusiasm and good cheer. 

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