Ben Schlesinger, founding president of BSA, LLC, is one of North America's leading independent energy consultants, specializing in gas and electricity marketing, pricing, infrastructure, trading practices, strategic planning, and power plant development worldwide.
Years of experience in energy/environment:
More years than I would like to admit - at least 4 decades!
Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?
First drive from Washington to Boston entirely on compressed natural gas - lately repeated route on electricity, using EV superchargers. (More details on my electric vehicle blog). Also honored to have been named USAEE Senior Fellow in 2012.
I guess one of my major accomplishments was to more or less invent - along with about 20 other people (Arnold Safer, Bob Levin, Brad Leach, Jim Rogers, Al Levine, Lance Schneier, Joe Paul, Ken Lay, Doug John, Dennis Cornelson, John Gregory, David Doctor and a few others) - the US natural gas spot market trade as we know it today, and the NYMEX gas futures contract.
In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?
My biggest concern is the continued invisibility of natural gas - the crucial national economic benefits of long supplies, and its environmental and global warming benefits. Use of this fuel has saved countless lives in cleaning up London, Paris, the US, and (soon) Chinese cities - maybe it's time we count them.
How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?
I have been an IAEE/USAEE and NCAC member since inception of each organization. Sad to see Tony Finizza and some other founders pass away - these people were much more active than I was. Pre-IAEE, our greatest victory was passage of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 - what a battle, it won by one vote in the US House of Representatives! Under industry and FERC leadership, this was arguably the key energy law of the 20th Century - it freed the US gas industry from the shackles of long-term contracts, opened pipeline markets, gave us decades of long gas supplies, and green-lighted the shale gas revolution.
As to the NCAC, my best memories are recent ones, from my totally enjoyable years as NCAC president, then USAEE president!