Overheard: Institute staff in the news

It’s been a busy week at the IC² Institute. Here are some of the appearances our experts have made in the media of late.

Michael WebberEnergy export policy: On March 25, ATI Clean Energy Co-Director Michael Webber was quoted in a Businessweek article, “Punishing Putin Fuels Energy-Export Drive in Congress,” on changing thoughts about US energy exports.

“In the 70s, we argued that for the sake of national security we have to prohibit exports. Now we argue that for the sake of national security we have to allow exports. Our mind has flipped in 40 years.”

Buy-it-yourself oil wells: On March 31, Webber was interviewed by KUT radio host David Brown about a company offering shares in oil wells directly to small investors (“You Can Buy Your Way Into Texas’ Oil Boom. But Is It Worth It?“). Webber was intrigued but cautious.

“It usually takes a lot of money to get into oil wells so it’s kind of exciting that you can get into one for cheap… There’s a famous bumper sticker in Texas that says, ‘Dear lord, give me one more boom and I promise not to piss it all away next time.’ I think it’s a reasonable proposition to buy an oil well and invest in it but I would go to check it out. It would be hard for me to put my money into something that I haven’t seen when it comes to oil and gas. And I also would try to do a lot of reading about what the future of oil and gas prices will be. A lot of oil and gas companies have experts on the payroll whose only job is to predict the future of prices for oil and gas, and they’re often wrong. So amateurs might be exposed to the same kind of risks without the benefit of the experts.”

Isaac BarchasImmigrant entrepreneurship: On March 30, Austin Technology Incubator Director Isaac Barchas and Bureau of Business Research Associate Director Bruce Kellison were quoted in a piece by Dan Zehr in the Austin American-Statesman on the role of immigrant entrepreneurs, “Austin’s tech brew has exotic seasoning.”

Barchas: “The fact that people find Austin such an attractive place to come to, especially for high-tech, results in a disproportionate amount of people coming to Austin to start their firms. Some come from overseas, some from next door.”

Bruce Kellison

Kellison: “Scalability is the key factor in wealth creation and job creation,” referring to factors that have limited the growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in Texas.


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April 2, 2014