Talking Energy: MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Takes His 'Steel on Wheels' Tour to Oklahoma
From the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan to unrest across the oil-producing countries of the Middle East, to issues with challenging regimes in other oil-producing nations, America's dependence on foreign sources of energy -- while much of our domestic energy resources remains untapped -- has become one of today's hot-button issues.
From Wednesday, March 30, to Friday, April 1, MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show" heads to Stillwater, Okla., for a three-day energy summit as part of the final leg of its "Steel on Wheels" tour.
Ratigan has gathered a panel of experts to talk about U.S. energy policy and how we can end the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
On Wednesday, Day One of the summit comes from a truck stop in Oklahoma City, Okla.; on Thursday and Friday, Days Two and Three come from the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, with Day Two also featuring a townhall on the campus that is open to the public, at 7 p.m. CT.
The summit will also air live during "The Dylan Ratigan Show" at 4 p.m. ET. The townhall will also stream live on www.steelonwheels.com on the evening of the Thursday, March 31.
Ratigan took some time to answer a few questions about the summit and its goals:
Q: Why the choice of locations in Oklahoma for the energy summit?
A: Oklahoma is one of the centers of domestic energy resources and production in America. It's the second largest state for natural gas and the fifth largest for both crude oil and wind energy, and many of our nation's largest energy companies are based there. We also try to take our Steel on Wheels tours to places that are often underrepresented by those of us based on the coasts, and Oklahoma fits that bill.
Q: What specific questions do you have in mind to take up with the experts?
A: The goal is to gather the top minds in energy and ask them, how, as a country, we can solve what I like to call one of our "Trillion Dollar Problems." In light of this horrific nuclear crisis in Japan and recent Mideast uprisings, it's clear that the time to fix this is now. We can't keep depending on Mideast oil to feed our energy needs, especially when you look at the huge human and economical costs we are currently paying. But Washington has failed us. It's up to us - the American people -- to figure out how to solve this problem.
Q: What areas do you think need the most immediate attention in US energy policy?
A: We need to first look at why we are consuming so much more energy than other countries, how we can fix that in a fair and equitable way, and then come up with the safest, most cost-efficient ways to produce that energy.
Q: What is your mix of experts - energy companies, academia, government, think tanks? Do you have the names yet?
A: We're proud to announce the following guests for our show and Town Hall:
- Boone Pickens, Oil Tycoon & Founder, BP Capital Management
- Ashwin Madia, VoteVets.org
- Bob Deans, Director of Federal Communications, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Former CIA Director James Woolsey
And additional show guests such as:
- Gasland director Josh Fox
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
- Brad Carson, Director of National Energy Policy Institute
- Ben Grumbles, President of the Clean Water America Alliance
- Elena Craft of the Environmental Defense Fund
- Umair Haque, author of The New Capitalist Manifesto (2011)
A: Absolutely, as the energy summit is part of the "Steel on Wheels" tour, which has visited a total of nine cities since its launch in December of 2010, probing different resolutions for issues facing the country. The goal of all of our tours is to find solutions. In this case it's the critical need to solve our energy problems and rid America of its dependency on Mideast oil.
In addition to the panelists, we're asking people around the country to help us out. Anyone that has a thought, idea or question that you would like to ask the panel via Skype, email info@DylanRatigan.com to find out more. You can also follow the conversation via twitter by following @DylanRatigan and #SteelonWheels, and at Facebook.com/DylanMSNBC.
One more important note: the town hall will be live streaming our panel starting at 8 PM ET / 7 PM CST. To become apart of our streaming syndicate, follow the instructions below
1) Go to DylanRatigan.com/live
2) Click on Share & Embed Options on the video player
3) Copy Embed code
4) Paste Embed code within your website/blogs HTML page
5) Email info@DylanRatigan.com to let us know that you are streaming or if you need technical assistance
Q: What is the role of the steel-producing company Nucor Corporation?
A: MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show" and Nucor Corporation joined forces in December of 2010, when we launched our innovative road show titled "Steel on Wheels," which aims to bring forth solutions to the most pressing problems facing the American people. Nucor and our show share the same values and goals.
In fact, when we launched, Dan DiMicco, Chairman and CEO of Nucor Corporation said: "We are very excited about our partnership with The Dylan Ratigan Show. We share with Dylan a deep concern about the state of the American economy and a belief that bold actions must be taken to spur economic growth and create jobs. This partnership will highlight the traits that make America great and how we can harness them to ensure America's future prosperity."
What do you think, Cuppers? Is Ratigan hitting all the right notes for America's energy independence? What experts would you like to see consulted, and what topics would you like to see covered?
Sound off in the comments.