Discover Your Island

Harte Research Institute Chair Named to Federal Ocean Energy Committee

September 18, 2015

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —Dr. Richard McLaughlin has been appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to serve on its newly created Committee on Environmental Sciences and Assessment for Ocean Energy Management. This committee will provide independent oversight and assistance in the management of the country’s offshore energy resources.

McLaughlin is the Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law at the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, specializing in marine and coastal law and policy. He is an expert on legal issues including the international law of the sea, ocean energy policies, transboundary resource management and marine ecosystem-based management.

McLaughlin was one of 14 academic, industry and other experts selected to provide ongoing independent expertise and assistance to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to ensure the nation’s offshore energy resources are managed and developed in an environmentally and economically responsible way.

“I look forward to providing advice and expertise to BOEM so that it can more effectively carry out its very challenging mission,” McLaughlin said. “This issue is of special importance to me and to the Harte Research Institute because much of this energy development activity occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and it is essential that it take place in as environmentally and economically sustainable fashion as possible.”

The committee, announced last week, will meet regularly beginning this fall. It will convene experts from academia, industry and other organizations to:

  • Provide independent, technical input on BOEM’s environmental studies and assessment programs.
  • Facilitate stakeholder discussions of controversial issues.
  • Enhance the understanding of ongoing scientific and technological developments related to ocean resource management, and if necessary develop studies on specific topics.
  • Provide a venue for BOEM staff to meet and exchange information with staff from other agencies, and help the agency to define its role in the interagency process.
Exchange information and lessons learned with staff from other world-class applied environmental studies and assessment programs with a view toward assisting BOEM in being the best.