State of energy discussed during RHJ Center talk

Arthur Stewart, president of Cameron Energy, is pictured with Greg Peterson, Robert H. Jackson Center co-founder, during a presentation on energy this week.

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Arthur Stewart, president of Cameron Energy, gave a presentation on energy this week at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown. Stewart’s presentation was part of the 2022 Turner Winter Series.

Stewart is the founder of Cameron Energy, located in Clarendon, Pa., and has been in oil and gas production for 34 years. He is also the former owner and founder of D&I Silica, which was the largest independent provider of hydrofracture sand during the first 10 years of the Marcellus Shale natural gas well development.

Stewart said in the 1800s, humanity as a whole was consuming a very small amount of energy. However, with the Industrial Revolution and an increase in the population, energy consumption has grown exponentially.

Currently, the world depends on various sources of energy, such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydropower, natural gas, crude oil and coal.

“We’re dependent on oil for 90 percent of the world’s transportation needs,” Stewart said during the presentation. “We’re going to have to acknowledge that it’s going to be very difficult to transition away from oil for transportation. We might think of electric cars as being defeatist of the notion I put out there, but actually, personal transportation is a very small percentage of the world’s overall transportation needs. When you think of the global economy and the massive ships that are moving, we’re not going to be able to power those ships, those critical things that move our goods, and our raw materials with anything other than oil because batteries would consume the greater portion of the cargo even if you could tackle the problem of how to relatively rapidly charge such a rapid fleet of batteries.”

Stewart said the world is also increasing its consumption of oil at a rate of about 1 million barrels a year.

“We have to look at the globe when we think about the demand for energy and recognize that there are about 1.5 billion people on earth who have no electricity,” he said. “Then, the enormous places where energy is being consumed — it’s not the United States in terms of growth. The United States is the largest consumer in most respects, quantitatively and almost the largest per capita. But where the real growth is occurring would be in China and India with roughly 3 billion people scattered around that part of the world.”

He said the consumption of energy in China is about a sixth that of American consumption, but there is still a lot of room for growth.

“As I look at that and I think about people with no electricity whatsoever, I ask the question: where is the evidence?” Stewart asked. “What is the genesis for the notion that we’re going to be peaking for our demand for energy in general as well as oil or fossil fuels in particular?”

In a later portion of the event, Stewart participated in an interview with Greg Peterson, Robert H. Jackson Center co-founder. Peterson brought up the fact that Stewart is from Warren, Pa., and is an attorney. He noted also that his father was also an attorney and had some connection with Robert H. Jackson.

“We were cleaning out my mother’s house and we found a letter from my father writing to Justice Jackson inviting him to a celebration of the Warren County Bar Association,” Stewart said. “Justice Jackson having been born in Spring Creek, it was a logical invitation. And a very nice note back from the Justice, saying he regretted he could not attend but he bestowed his good wishes upon the Warren County Bar Association.”

A video of the full presentation is available at https://youtu.be/s6iPY-h6I4U


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