Matthew Keever" />
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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Energy outfits should curb costs

Who else is tired of soaring energy prices?

Texans have seen a massive increase in energy costs since the deregulation of the retail electricity market.

Former Gov. George W. Bush, who believed competition would ‘benefit Texans by reducing monthly rates,’ signed the deregulation law on June 18, 1999. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.

Texans’ costs have risen 64 percent between 1999 and 2007, according to a report released Monday by the Cities Aggregation Power Project.

CAPP, a nonprofit partnership of Texas municipalities, does not recommend going back to the pre-deregulation system, but says it wants the Texas Legislature to check market exploitation by limiting how much power any one utility can generate.

Similarly to the hike in gas prices during Houstonian’s evacuation in the course of Hurricane Ike, some companies are increasing prices simply because there is a high demand. Who in Houston isn’t going to keep their home cool? This seems to be dirty economics at its worst, a concern that seems to plague Houston even in the wake of the Enron scandal. Market abuse needs to be curbed. But who can take on the job?

Enter the University of Houston with its Scarlet and Albino White cape, ready and willing to take on the task at hand.

Beginning this fall, a bachelors degree plan in petroleum engineering will be offered. According to the Society of Petroleum Engineers, 40 percent of the industry’s workforce will reach retirement age in 2010. Coupled with growth and the decline in the number of students in the nation pursuing technical degrees, businesses are desperate for talent.

‘This is the right university, the right time and the right city for this kind of program,’ UH President Renu Khator said in a release.

Fundamentals of petroleum engineering and geosciences combined with economics, energy law and business will be the basis of the degree plan. Marathon Oil, which is based in Houston, and Devon Energy have shown their support by contributing $1.6 million toward the program. Now where could they have gotten so much money to burn?

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chair of the college’s department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering told The Daily Cougar in a story published Feb. 5 he feels the new degree is a must-have degree for the college.

‘The way the industry has evolved, these professionals cannot operate like before. You really are not able to do work as a petroleum engineer without a background in geosciences,’ he said.

A master’s program for the degree is already available, and the bachelor’s curriculum is planned to build on the successes of its superior.

For Cougars who graduate with a degree in petroleum engineering, wherever you get a job, take some morality with you, please.

Personally, I’m in favor of the cool weather sticking around for a while longer. I’ve been able to keep my air conditioning off by opening a window, which has been a welcome change – my monthly energy bill is ridiculous.

Matthew Keever is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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