How Can Long Island Prepare for the Peak Oil Energy Shock?

The international debate on when world-wide oil production will “peak” is raging. Most leading experts on the topic are predicting that oil production will reach its maximum level some time between now, and the year 2010. Whatever the actual date, we will not know it until some time after the actual event. At that point, it will be too late to insulate ourselves from the consequences - - permanently high gasoline prices, home heating oil prices, and general transportation costs. Not long after oil production peaks, the world-wide production of natural gas will also peak. The heating and electricity costs associated with natural gas will also increase.

While the debate is hot, the public and most officials are unaware of its existence. This is unfortunate because the longer we as a community and a nation wait to react, the fewer options we have and the more expensive our choices will be. And, we will have wasted precious time we need to put in place the policies, infrastructure and financial resources to ride the unsettled transition with the minimum discomfort and dislocation.

Long Island is especially unprepared for this disruptive and challenging period. We need to recognize the dramatic impacts Peak Oil will have on the Long Island economy. We must examine Long Island’s current energy demands as well as the most viable energy options and opportunities for the future.

As the largest island in the continental U.S., Long Island has some unique challenges and opportunities for alternative energy technology. How should Long Island respond? Will its economy be damaged by the added cost burden or will it be invigorated by creativity and ingenuity? How can we plan and create solutions that will keep Long Island competitive and economically healthy?

As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of NYIT, we are looking ahead with hope by using knowledge, technology and cutting-edge ingenuity to keep the region vibrant, attractive and sustainable. We have invited some of the best known and most knowledgeable speakers on the topic of peak oil to discuss their findings.

This conference brings together three of the best-known experts on world oil reserves, energy demand, future alternatives and strategies for coping with the coming energy shock. When cheap energy ends, it will affect every government, business, and family. By presenting this forum, the conversation about where we go from here will begin. We are teetering on the brink. Which way we tip will largely be up to our collective determination, insightfulness and willingness to do what is best for our community over the long-term. You are invited to be part of the dialog and solution.