Economics Society Students Travel to San Francisco for World Oil Prices Discussion

In February, the 14 members of the Cal Poly Economics Society (CPES) traveled to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club to hear a reputable panel of experts discuss the geopolitics and economics behind the current state of world oil prices and American energy sentiments. Former Special Advisor to President Obama Jason Bordoff, former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Bill Reilly, and Senior Vice President of Next Generation Kate Gordon participated in the conversation.

One of the leading discussion topics centered on the phenomenon of cheaper oil prices, with crude oil recently dropping below $50 a barrel. Will oil continue to spiral down, or will the adjusted price be higher than we initially expected? While the classic economists’ answer of “perhaps we simply cannot predict the future” seemed imperative, other speculations surrounding the state of oil prices garnered much interest from the audience. The demand for sport utility vehicles is soaring, some oil-producing countries face tremendous economic turmoil, and increasingly environmentally conscious Americans are wary of what the future holds.

Panelists Gordon and Reilly spoke highly of the United States reaching its target of cutting carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 based on declining miles driven per vehicle and hydraulic shale fracking creating greater efficiency. Bordoff spoke quite intimately about how policy – namely cap-and-trade – plays a particularly crucial role in the future of industry and individual carbon reduction.

Climate One, a derivative of The Commonwealth Club, seeks to bring together scholarly leaders to foster the discussion of climate change, energy efficiency, and other relevant environmental issues. According to its mission, this is to help “advance the march toward a low-carbon economy.” The Cal Poly Economics Society grasped this knowledge and relate

d to the many diverse economic implications of the discussion. Afterward, some members even discussed their opinions with Bordoff and enjoyed a brief photo opportunity. CPES thanks faculty advisor Steve Hamilton for his help in organizing and carrying out the successful event.

Pictured in Photo: Isabela Galvez, Amanda Schafer, Anthony Berardi, John Crescent, Austin White, Nathan Miner, Chris Lunger, Daniel Estes, Frank Fassl, Kyle Hafey, Mike Hurdelbrink, Blake Wedekind, Stefan Hall.

Not Pictured: Davis Matthews & Professor Steve Hamilton