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Lessons from the Gulf: A Public Discussion of America's Energy Future and the Health of the Marine Environment

The Gulf oil spill is the largest marine oil spill ever recorded. It began on April 20, 2010, with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. For almost three months oil flowed into the fragile Gulf of Mexico ecosystem before the well was capped. Although the oil is no longer flowing, currents in the Gulf continue to move oil throughout the ecosystem, and the cleanup is predicted to take years. The toll on the Gulf region’s economy has been huge, and it is not clear that full environmental restoration will ever be possible.

This event considers the consequences of the spill and the importance of the Gulf of Mexico in the US energy economy. The panel addresses the direct impacts of oil on marine ecosystems and wildlife, the costs of the Gulf oil spill on the regional economy, and the continuing risks associated with oil exploration and drilling in the US.

Imtiaz Gul is Executive Director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. He is the author of three books on the ongoing security concerns in South Asia: The Unholy Nexus, The Al-Qaeda Connection, and The Most Dangerous Place.


Larry McKinney, Executive Director of The Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies.
Ilze Berzins, Executive Vice President, Animal Health, Conservation, Research, Education, John G. Shedd Aquarium.
Ihor Hlohowskyj, environmental biologist and ecological risk assessor in the Environmental Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory.
Reuben Keller (Moderator), Henry Chandler Cowles Lecturer in the University of Chicago Program on the Global Environment.

Part of The World Beyond the Headlines lecture series. The World Beyond the Headlines series is a collaborative project of the University of Chicago Center for International Studies, the International House Global Voices Program and the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, and is funded in part by the McCormick Foundation. Its aim is to bring scholars and journalists together to consider major international issues and how they are covered in the media. See the quarterly schedule at

Cosponsored by the Program on the Global Environment in collaboration with the Shedd Aquarium.


Recorded Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at the Shedd Aquarium.

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