Tag Archive: Patty Limerick

Government Focuses on Natural Gas for US Energy Future

From left to right: Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Nancy Sutley, principal environmental advisor to President Obama, Phil Weiser, dean of CU-Boulder's Law School, and Patty Limerick, director of the Center of the American West, chaired a town hall meeting about the environmental aspects of President Obama's State of the Union address. Boulder, Co. Jan. 27, 2011. (Photo/Brendon Bosworth).

By Brendon Bosworth

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama made it clear that further expansion of natural gas drilling is a key part of the government’s vision for America’s energy economy.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years,” said Obama. “And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”

Speaking at a town hall meeting at CU-Boulder’s Wittemyer Courtroom today, Nancy Sutley, principal environmental advisor to President Obama, touted the government’s commitment to expanding natural gas development as playing a vital role in the transition to a new energy economy. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Phil Weiser, dean of CU-Boulder’s Law School, and Patty Limerick, director of the Center of the American West, joined Sutley in chairing the meeting.

“Some have said the United States could be the Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” Sutley told the crowd. Cheap natural gas is generally very good for the economy and, as the president talked about, the U.S. is not going to cede leadership in this area to other countries, she said.

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John McPhee Wins Wallace Stegner Award

John McPhee 2010(c) Yolanda Whitman

By Brendon Bosworth

Pulitzer prize-winning author John McPhee has another accolade to add to his collection after the Center of the American West presented him with the Wallace Stegner Award Thursday. With 28 books under his belt and 48 years contributing to The New Yorker, this award counts McPhee among “those who have faithfully and evocatively depicted the spirit of the American West.”

McPhee’s seminal 1971 book, Encounters With the Archdruid, is the foundational text for the Center of the American West, said Patty Limerick, the Center’s director.

The book profiles David Brower, former executive director of the Sierra Club, and his interactions with Charles Park – a mineral engineer, Charles Fraser – a resort developer, and Floyd Dominy – Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation at the time.

An audience of well over 300 people filled the Old Main Chapel past its seating capacity and welcomed McPhee, who turned 80 this year, to the stage with loud applause. With the lower and upper sections full, some of the crowd had to sit on the small stage behind McPhee and Limerick. A few people stood on the balcony above the stage.

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