The LBJ School and the Bond Dealers of America brought together more than 150 experts across infrastructure, public finance, government and academia to discuss the future of energy and water, and the role of government and the financial sector to realize the needed investment. Topics included clean energy and renewables, enhancing electricity transmission and modernizing the grid, and infrastructure for resilient water supply in the Southwestern United States.
"This gathering honestly couldn't happen in a better place in this country," said JR DeShazo, dean of the LBJ School. "The University of Texas is a leader in all of these spaces."
UT President Jay Hartzell welcomed the event, which was organized by LBJ School professor and expert in public financial management Marty Luby and Mike Nicholas, CEO of the Bond Dealers of America.
"This collaboration between the BDA and the LBJ School in organizing this dialogue on the future of energy, electricity, and water along with the role of government policies, academia, and investment in realizing our future is crucial," said UT President Jay Hartzell. "We find ourselves at a crossroads where the capital market and public financial decisions that we make today are clearly going to shape the energy landscape of the future."
Former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered the lunchtime keynote.
“Texas is the center of oil and gas,” said former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. “But what I love about Texas is that we also are leaders in wind and solar power. We also are doing great research in hydrogen and nuclear energy.”
The impressive lineup of speakers also included Robert Estrada, Chairman of Estrada Hinojosa; Michael Enger, interim VP at Austin Energy; Andrew Bowman, professor at Texas Law; Evan Kodra, who leads the R&D team at ICE Data Services; Luisa Fentes, a managing director at CIBC: Varun Rai, a professor at the LBJ School; Joshua Rhodes of the Webber Energy Group; Kevin Pollo, a VP at CPS Energy; William Nichols, a managing director at Piper and Sandler Co.; Don Gonzales, Senior Managing Director at Estrada Hinojosa; Maynard Holt, CEO of Veritan; Thomas Doe, CEO of Municipal Market Analytics; Lynn Katz, director of the Center for Water and the Environment; Tom Schuette, a senior VP at Credit Research; Doug Evanson, CFO at the San Antonio Water System; and Ted Chapman, analyst at Hilltop Securities. View the conference program.
The event was part of a high impact university alliance that includes The University of Texas, The University of Chicago, New York University and The University of North Carolina. These universities, with the BDA, are studying our world's top infrastructure challenges.