What's the kind of conversation that needs to happen around natural gas and fracking? What's not being discussed now?
Let me say this. This might sound elementary to you, but it is the function that I would like this series to serve, to inform from a sort of broad to an acute level about energy. So one of the pieces we're coming out with tonight is “Energy 101, what's at stake.” To me, what I want people to do is I want people to understand, to be on the same page. To get people to speak from the same playbook. I think it's important that what needs to happen right now is we all sort of need this place, you can call it the Rational Middle, but we need to leave those galvanized barricades and meet in a place where we can have a civil discussion. It's interesting that this is only the second road show we've done, but we premiered this at the Aspen Ideas Festival. What was cool was we had a full-on rational discussion. We had Richard Newell from Duke University, who's one of the leaders at that environmental school; we had Russ Ford from Shell, a guy who's really high up in the Shell hierarchy (VP of onshore gas); we had Alexis Karolides from the Rocky Mountain Institute. We had a discussion-slash-spirited, but civil, argument.
But this panel tonight is a mix of oil and gas and economic development reps, nobody from the renewables or environmental side.
Well, my goal is to get people to have the right discussion. I'm kind of cribbing off Conor Friedersdorf from the Atlantic Monthly. He was at the Aspen Ideas Festival and he said this to me, and I never really thought about it this way, but he said the Rational Middle isn't necessarily an idea. It's really the tenor of the conversation, right?