Deepwater horizon: what happened, why and where do we go from here?

23 May 2011

This lecture is co-presented by Sydney Ideas and Sydney Law School.

Speaker:Associate Professor Frank Alcock, Senior Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand and Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida

Chair:Professor Rosemary Lyster, Director, Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, Sydney Law School

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in April, 2010 and the subsequent fire and offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is considered one of the major environmental disasters in US history. In his lecture for Sydney Ideas Frank Alcock will review the findings of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He includes the technical dimensions of the disaster, the regulatory context that allowed it to happen, ecological and economic impacts, report recommendations, and broader implications for offshore drilling activity and US energy policy.

Salient themes include a regulatory regime and industry culture poorly suited to manage risks, the absence of meaningful contingency planning, and considerable uncertainty regarding medium to long term impacts and implications. He will also include brief reflection on the findings of Australia's Montara Commission of Inquiry.

About the speaker:

Frank Alcock is an Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida where he serves as the Director of Environmental Studies. From February through May 2011 Frank will be a Senior Fulbright Scholar based at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Frank's Fulbright project involves research and lecturing on New Zealand's climate policies with an emphasis on their emissions trading system. In addition to his work on climate policy, Frank is also lecturing on the Deepwater Horizon spill and its implication for U.S. energy policy.

Frank is a former Director of a Marine Policy Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL and a Fellow with the Collins Center for Public Policy in Florida. His work with Mote and the Collins Center has focused on the potential risks and benefits of drilling near the Florida coastline and he testified before the Florida legislature on this topic.

Time: 6-7.30pm

Location: Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: FREE - no registration required

Contact: Meredith Hall, Program Manager

Phone: 9351 1935

Email: 215d01140e30035e585b365e06780031031e08566d4e232f664e47