Congressman to discuss future for state energy

The TCU community will receive a rare opportunity to hear an elected official speak about the future of Texas energy policy.Congressman Joe Barton will present a lecture about the future of energy at 6 p.m. Monday.

His lecture “Politics of Energy in U.S. Congress,” hosted by TCU’s engineering department, will take place in the Kelly Alumni Center.

As one of the leading political experts on energy policy, Barton will be discussing political issues, such as digital TV legislation and new methods of energy production, and will lecture on topics pertaining directly to Texans, including the current drilling of the Barnett Shale, said Tristan Tayag, an engineering professor who helped organize the event.

The lecture will be part of a series presented by the engineering department. The series, once narrowly tailored to appeal to students, has now become more general in order to appeal to a wider audience, Tayag said.

“Our focus this year is the engineering community,” Tayag said. “That’s who we’re targeting and that is primarily who has registered.”

Although the talk may not be geared directly toward students, anyone interested is strongly encouraged to attend, Tayag said.

As the representative of the 6th district of Texas, Barton is one of the primary decision makers on Texas energy policies, said Karen Modlin, Barton’s press secretary.

Barton graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor of science in industrial engineering and earned an industrial administration master of science degree from Purdue, according to his biography.

TCU is the only school that Barton will present this particular lecture to, Modlin said.

Tayag said Bob Bolen, former mayor, was instrumental in bringing Barton to TCU.

Guests are asked to register according to the instructions on the TCU engineering department Web site, however the official registration ended April 4, Tayag said. He said anyone interested should hurry as there are few spots still remaining.

“If people show up, we’ll see about what we can do to accommodate them,” Tayag said.

The cost, which is $5 for members of the engineering department and $10 for all others, includes the price of the dinner served prior to the lecture.