Captain Carbon Debates Fuel Options – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Captain Carbon Debates Fuel Options

Tom Drennen, associate professor of economics and chair of the environmental studies department (also known on campus as “Captain Carbon”) debated the merits of various fuel options with Rob Fleming and Chris Pastore of Philadelphia University on their radio show, “Ecoman and the Skeptic” on Nov. 25.  The show, titled “Alternative Fuel Options: Baby You Can Drive My Corn,” ran from 11 a.m. to noon, and can be heard at

Drennen is the author of the book, “Pathways to a Hydrogen Future,” which seeks to untangle competing visions of a hydrogen economy, explain the trade-offs and obstacles, and offer recommendations for a path forward. The results are based on “The Hydrogen Futures Simulation Model,” developed at Sandia National Laboratories, where he is senior economist.

According to the “Ecoman and the Skeptic” Web site, tomorrow’s episode will address such questions as, “Will the cost of corn and other foods rise if we use them to make liquid fuels? And, by the way, what’s happened to the big push for hydrogen?” It will also include regular features Green News and the Green Wash quiz with Professor Rob Fryer.

Fleming and Pastore are co-directors of Philadelphia University’s Engineering and Design Institute, an interdisciplinary research center focusing on green materials, sustainable design and community outreach. They have appeared on national radio shows and have written about green living and sustainable design for national publications.

A member of the HWS faculty since 1995, Drennen earned a B.S. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.A. in public affairs from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in resource economics from Cornell University. In 2006, he received the Hobart and William Smith Excellence in Teaching Award.