At noon on Monday in the Lanier Auditorium at the Texas Tech School of Law, the Energy Law Lecture Series began its spring run with an hour-long lecture from Dana Newsome, Chairman of the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association in Amarillo.
Newsome’s lecture Monday, along with the two other upcoming energy law lectures, are approved for one hour of Texas Continued Legal Education credit, according to the event webpage.
Within her presentation, Newsome showed attendees videos from The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as photos, graphs and statistics regarding the importance of energy responsibility and America’s moral duty to educate others and aid third world countries in using energy to become more modernized.
Newsome said UNICEF's quote, “Water should not be a privilege, it’s a right,” should resonate with Americans, as many take clean water for granted.
The access to clean water, as well as the ability to use energy to clean it, Newsome said, is a key factor in increasing life expectancy around the world. In her lecture, she said the average American’s life expectancy is around 75 years, whereas in places like Africa and India, it is around 50 years.
Newsome’s lecture focused on the positive aspects and benefits of continuing the use of fossil fuels to keep the world running, which she said is a controversial topic nowadays.
With people trying to be more ecofriendly in American society and steering away from producing emissions, she said it is hard to get people to understand where she is coming from in supporting energy fueled by natural resources.
Students could benefit from doing their own investigating, and Newsome said it could be helpful to educate oneself over the pros of fossil fuel usage, rather than simply accepting negative information as the only information.
“There are not a lot of resources in your face on the pro side of oil and gas, so you have to go look for it,” Newsome said. “The good news isn’t out there as much as the bad news, so you really need to not believe everything that you see and do your own research. You have to get the word out. You have to be brave enough to talk to people who don’t agree with you and get the word out, and that takes a little bit of research and a little bit of time and a little bit of courage.”
Professor of Practice and director of this series William R. Keffer said he was pleased to have Newsome speak at Tech because of her courage as such a successful woman in the field of law.
Keffer said law of any sort is in a primarily male-dominated and can be intimidating for aspiring female law practitioners.
“It’s important to be able to show students that women are in the energy workspace and they’re occupying important positions of power and authority.” Keffer said.
He said he believes many female law students do not know if there is a place for them in such a male-dominated industry, so bringing Newsome in to speak showed female empowerment.
Carol Martin, a retired lawyer from Dallas, attended the event and said she found Newsome’s lecture very informative and promoted the idea of the importance of thinking about oil and gas because she thinks everyone needs to know how energy affects them.
“It’s very beneficial to take the time and gain knowledge about the way oil and gas play into electricity in the world, but also in our homes,” Martin said. “There’s a much bigger picture that a lot of the public doesn’t know about.”
This lecture series is open to the public, including law students as well as non-law students.
There will be two more lectures in the energy law lecture series taking place on Mar. 10 and Apr. 6 in the Tech School of Law with other guest speakers.
For more information on these events, visit the School of Law event calendar.