Captain Carbon in the News – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Captain Carbon in the News

Associate Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Thomas Drennen, known on campus as “Captain Carbon,” was interviewed on radio as well as TV this week concerning energy issues.

In a recent broadcast on WHAM-TV, Channel 13 from Rochester, Drennen was featured in a news segment concerning the rising cost of jet fuel and its impact on the airline industry. He discussed the effects of the rising cost of air travel on weight and carry-on requirements.

According to Drennen, many airlines are now cutting back on everything from the food, plastic and glass of the dining services to the very paint on the aircraft’s exterior in order to reduce the plane’s total weight.

He was also interviewed by Finger Lakes News Radio Morning Anchor Ted Baker to discuss the Colleges’ environmental efforts and in celebration of “Green Day” on April 2.

Since President Mark Gearan signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in September 2007, the state of the environment has changed operations at the Colleges. New programs range from new energy efficient florescent bulbs being installed across campus to purchasing electric utility carts and an increased recycling and the implementation of a bicycle program.

There is a collective effort that is bringing together an entire range of HWS community members, student organizations and academic disciplines, he explained.

Drennen’s talk was heard on the network’s four stations, WGVA at 1240 on the dial, 1550 WCGR, 1570 WFLR and 1590 WAUB.

Drennen is the author of a new 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.

A member of the HWS faculty since 1995, he 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.

The WHAM coverage is available online. Audio of Drennen’s radio interview is also available.