El Paso Corp. CEO Foshee Sees Benefits of Role of Natural Gas

Published on February 11, 2011

At BCAA Breakfast, Foshee Says Natural Gas Leads the Future of Energy Industry

El Paso Corp. chairman, president and CEO Douglas Foshee explained the benefits of natural gas during his talk at the Jan. 20 BCAA breakfast.

The Bauer College Alumni Association kicked off the spring lineup of its monthly networking breakfast series with El Paso Corporation chairman, president and CEO Douglas Foshee, whose presentation focused on the energy industry’s evolution.

“The future of energy, at least in the relative near term, is natural gas,” Foshee said to the crowded ballroom of Bauer alumni and friends gathered at the Houston City Club for the Jan. 20 event.

El Paso Corporation Risk Manager Tim Jones, who received his MBA from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, introduced Foshee by highlighting his commitment to leadership and community involvement through the support of academic programs that teach essential workplace skills, like those offered at UH Bauer.

Foshee said he believes that the future of energy is not within renewable energy or electricity, but rather it is natural gas.  He said, “We are on an evolutionary journey from a high carbon-low tech energy supply to a low carbon, or no carbon-high tech energy supply.”

He also emphasized the benefits of natural gas to public policy, noting that the energy source “drives the economy, is environmentally friendly relative to any other choice, and supports U.S. energy security.” The economic advantages to natural gas are clear, he added, with the industry contributing 3 million jobs and bringing in $385 billion a year.

Discoveries of natural gas shales have increased dramatically by about 20 percent a year, Foshee said, in recent years. Throughout his talk, he compared every aspect of the production of natural gas to that of coal and renewable resources, with natural gas winning on most angles.

“You don’t very often find something that has a positive environmental impact,” he said, “lowers the cost of fuel to the consumer, and dramatically benefits your local community.”

He ended his presentation by urging the room of alumni, students and Houstonians to become advocates for natural gas.

“I think it is important for the University of Houston, I think it is important for Houston, and I think it is important for Texas,” he said.

Presented by James E. Bashaw & Co., the BCAA monthly networking breakfasts are excellent networking opportunities that regularly attract strong attendance, with top leaders as speakers. The next BCAA breakfast will be held on Feb. 17 at Houston City Club, featuring UH Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin. Click here to RSVP for the Feb. 17 BCAA breakfast.

By Ryan Tang