Speaker Series - Betty Simkins PhD

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 2:00pm


The Energy Renaissance and its Implications for U.S. Energy Policy

Betty Simkins, PhD
Williams Companies Professor of Business
Professor of Finance, Spears School of Business
Oklahoma State University

The shock of the 1970’s oil price increases awakened the U.S. to the risk of uncertain energy supply and the importance of energy to economic development. Fast forward to 2012–the U.S. is now undergoing a shock of a different type, an energy renaissance, resulting in dramatic increases in natural gas and crude oil supply. In this talk, I will discuss what I refer to as five energy realities, all of which have important implications for U.S. energy policy. These five energy realities are hard facts that we must face. The good news is that having an increasing supply of crude oil and natural gas helps give us time to do the research and development necessary to make our next energy transition. It took the U.S. almost a century to build the system we have today, transporting oil and gas efficiently throughout our country. It can easily take a similar time period to build new systems that take advantage of future energy sources. Another challenge is the fact that the public is misinformed about energy and energy education is a must. Overall, our country needs an energy policy that promotes all of our energy resources and encourages private investment in advanced technologies. These measures will help create jobs, strengthen our economy, and enhance energy security. Through a collaborative effort, universities can be leaders in addressing these energy realities and be thought leaders through energy research and education.

Betty J. Simkins, Ph.D., is the Williams Companies Professor of Business and a Professor of Finance in the Department of Finance at Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) Spears School of Business, where she teaches energy finance, corporate finance, and enterprise risk management, among other courses. Betty received her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, her MBA from OSU, and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. She has more than 50 publications in academic finance journals and book chapters and has won awards for her research, most recently in risk management. In addition, Betty has won several teaching awards including the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. She also teaches executive education courses for companies around the world. She is very active in the finance profession and currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Strategic Risk Council of the Conference Board of Canada, Board of Directors for the Financial Management Association, as co-editor of the Journal of Applied Finance, as past president of the Eastern Finance Association, and on the editorial boards of several prestigious finance journals. Prior to academia, she worked in the energy industry for Williams Companies and Conoco (now ConocoPhillips). She is co-editor of Enterprise Risk Management: Insights and Analysis on Today's Leading Research and Best Practices with John Fraser (published by John Wiley & Sons) and has a forthcoming book by Wiley, Energy Finance and Economics: Analysis and Valuation, Risk Management, and the Future of Energy.