USA-Redakteursprogramm 2015

27. April bis 2. Mai 2015

Wie beeinträchtigen die niedrigen Ölpreise den amerikanischen Öl- und Fracking-Aufschwung, die nationale wie internationale Wirtschaft und die Weltpolitik? Die sechs Teilnehmer dieses RIAS-Programms sprachen mit Experten in Houston und Umgebung und an der Texas A&M Universität, der viertgrößten Universität der USA mit ihrem renommierten College of Geosciences, ihrem EU Zentrum und ihrer angesehenen George Bush School of Government and Public Services.


Dr. Hildegard Boucsein, Mitglied der RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION mit den Teilnehmern desTexas-Energie-Programms: Jens Thurau, Wolfgang Kerler, Johannes Jolmes, Andreas Horchler, Dominik Rzepka, Volker Finthammer (von links nach rechts).






Volker Finthammer, CvD (Senior Duty Editor)
for the Editor-in-Chief at Deutschlandradio Kultur, Deutschlandradio, Berlin

Andreas Horchler, Radio correspondent for the public ARD radio network, ARD, Washington, D.C.
Frequently reports on U.S. energy issues

Johannes Jolmes, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg
NDR investigative political magazine Panorama.
Reports on issues related to the U.S. and Germany, such as security, cybercrime and environment protection.
Coproduced a 30-minute special on hydraulic fracturing

Wolfgang Kerler, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich
Works for daily BR news programs & Plusminus, a prestigious economic TV journal aired nationwide on public ARD TV channel.
Special field of reporting is energy production and energy security.

Dominik Rzepka, ZDF capital studio, Berlin
Covers political issues for all ZDF news shows and active in ZDF’s online dept. www.heute.de and Twitter.

Jens Thurau, Deutsche Welle TV political affairs department (Germany’s international broadcaster), Berlin
Main field of expertise: environmental issues

Dr. Hildegard Boucsein, RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION, Board Member
Texas A&M University’s International Advisory Board Exec. Committee Member


Ann Klaus
Associate Director, European Union Center, Texas A&M University

Dr. jur. Hilmar Zeissig
President Houston International Business Corporation,
Texas A&M University’s International Advisory Board Member


Monday, April 27, 2015

RIAS participants picked up by Ann Klaus at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and drive to South Shore Harbour Resort, League City.

Dinner at the hotel and Oil & Gas Industry Introductory Presentation by Dr. Hilmar Zeissig, President, Houston International Business Corp. Dr. Hilmar Zeissig is an international energy and environmental policy consultant and president of Houston International Business Corp. (HIBC). Since 1982, HIBC has provided energy and environmental policy consulting, project management and procurement services for multinational institutions, such as the UN, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, bilateral development organizations, such as the US Trade and Development Agency, the German Technical Cooperation Agency GTZ, foreign governments, corporate clients and private investors in Europe, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meet in hotel lobby and drive to Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

Presentation of industrial activities and development of Houston and South East Texas by Mr. Dan Seal, Executive Director, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) is a member-driven organization that provides the leadership to stimulate regional economic development and employment. Utilizing a collaborative committee structure, BAHEP engages approximately 270 investor companies, business professionals, local governments, and educational institutions in southeast Texas to bring about prosperity and a high quality of life for the 740.000 people who live and work in the region.

Tour of Port of Houston and petrochemical industry area by Dr. Hilmar Zeissig.

Lunch at Luling City Market — Real Texas Bar-B-Que.

Tour of Downtown Houston and Galleria Area by Dr. Hilmar Zeissig.

Meeting and early dinner with Houston journalists: Andrew Schneider, Business Reporter, Houston Public Media; Florian Martin, Reporter, Houston Public Media; Dave Fehling, Energy and Environment Reporter, Houston Public Media; Barbara Shook, Senior Reporter-at-large, Energy Intelligence Group.

Dämmerschoppen/Cocktails at the Zeissig residence.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Drive to Galveston and Tour of Galveston Island by Dr. Hilmar Zeissig.

Visit to Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum and Tour of Galveston Island by Dr. Hilmar Zeissig. The retired jackup drilling rig features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Scale models of production platforms, actual drill bits and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as videos and exhibits explain drilling, geology, seismic, well servicing and production. Visitors can take the skywalk out onto the drill floor of the rig, or visit the exhibits on the pipe deck from the first floor of the museum.

Lunch at Willie G’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant.

Drive from Galveston to Rice University.

Meeting with Dr. Jim Krane, Wallace S Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Houston. Dr. Krane is a scholar of Middle East politics and economics and an award-winning journalist. Krane’s research focuses on the interplay of energy subsidies and political stability in the Persian Gulf, as well as the effects of rising U.S. energy production on economies dominated by oil and gas exports.

Drive from Rice University to El Tex Petroleum.

Wildcat drilling and development of oil and gas production in Texas, Mr. Leslie C. Texas, President, El Tex Petroleum LLC. Leslie C. Texas is the founder and president of El Tex Petroleum LLC. He is an independent oil & gas explorer and producer; a typical Texas wildcatter.

Drive to Texas A&M University, College Station; Vineyard Court Hotel; dinner from Blue Baker.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Breakfast and drive to Texas A&M University.

Meeting with Dr. Christodolus Floudas, Director, Texas A&M Energy Institute. The Texas A&M Energy Institute interdisciplinary research program focuses on the interacting themes of: (a) Fossil and Non-Fossil based Technologies for Energy; (b) Multi-scale Energy Systems Engineering; (c) Materials, Catalysis, and Separations for Energy; and (d) Energy Economics, Law, Policy, and Societal Impact.

Break and RIAS group discussion

Lunch with Dr. Guy D Whitten, Director, European Union Center and Professor Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University. Dr. Whitten has served as director of the EU Center since 2008. His primary research and teaching interests are mass political economy, comparative politics, and political methodology. Much of his research has involved cross-national comparative studies of industrial democratic nations.

Meeting with Dr. F. Gregory Gause, Head of International Affairs Department and Professor, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University. A noted Middle East scholar for more than two decades and widely recognized for his expertise, Dr. Gause has focused his research on the international politics of the Middle East, with a particular interest in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.

Break & RIAS group discussion

Tour of Emergency Services Training Institute, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). More than 169.000 people representing every U.S. state and territory and 79 countries are served annually through the home to some of the world’s top training facilities. The emergency preparedness campus in Bryan/College Station includes the Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City and the Emergency Operations Training Center. From providing emergency responders to disasters across the state and nation to developing training and practical workforce solutions, TEEX makes a difference worldwide. Disaster City is located adjacent to the Texas A&M University campus, the 297-acre facility attracts more than 45.000 emergency responders from all 50 states and more than 45 countries each year. The 132 specific training stations offer emergency responders instruction in firefighting, rescue, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, marine, aircraft, and emergency management.

Dinner at J. Cody’s with Dr. Charles Hermann, Professor and Brent Scowcroft Chair in International Policy Studies, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. Dr. Charles F. Hermann is the Brent Scowcroft Chair in International Policy Studies. He came to Texas A&M University in 1995 to serve as the founding Director of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. He served as associate dean for academic programs and then as the first director of the Master’s Program in International Affairs. Dr. Hermann has been an active scholar and teacher in the fields of foreign policy, national security, group decision making and simulation and he has participated in past RIAS programs, both in Texas and Germany.

Friday May 1, 2015

Breakfast and drive to Texas A&M University.

Meeting with John Sharp, Chancellor, The Texas A&M University System. John Sharp was appointed chancellor of The Texas A&M University System by the Board of Regents in September 2011. As chancellor, Sharp leads the 19-member university system, which has an annual budget of $3.8 billion. The system’s flagship, Texas A&M University, stands among the nation’s top research universities for total research expenditures and is the only Texas institution of higher education listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 20. He came to the A&M System from Ryan & Company, where he was a principal with the largest state and local tax-consulting firm of its kind in Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Texas A&M University in 1972. In 1978 he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, won a seat in the Texas Senate in 1982, where he served on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1986. Sharp was elected state comptroller in 1990 and re-elected in 1994. When he took office, he quickly began working to fulfill his pledge to “make government work more like our most successful businesses.” Eight years later, he reinvented Texas state government and turned it into a high-quality, low-cost customer service operation that has saved taxpayers billions, helped avert a state income tax and served as a model around the world.

Break and RIAS group discussion

Meeting with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean and Executive Professor, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. Ryan Crocker retired from the Foreign Service in April 2009 after a career of over 37 years but was recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as US Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011–2012), Iraq (2007–2009), Pakistan (2004–2007), Syria (1998–2001), Kuwait (1994–1997), and Lebanon (1990–1993). He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003. From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.

Break and RIAS group discussion

Meeting with Dr. Detlef Hallermann, Clinical Professor; & Director, Reliant Securities and Commodities Trading Center; Director, Trading, Risk & Investments Program, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. Detlef Hallermann is Director for the Reliant Energy Trade Center and the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) at Texas A&M University. TRIP is a university/industry collaborative internship program that is part of a B.B.A./M.S. Finance degree program. Through TRIP, he manages a 30 company advisory board. Hallermann has over ten years of practical experience in the energy industry. He is well versed in oil and gas acquisitions as a petroleum engineer and MBA. Dr. Hallermann has focused the past fifteen years on derivatives, contingent claims analysis, trading, and risk management and market behavior in the commodities sector. Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Dr. Hallermann performed product development for an energy trading and risk management software company and managed the Quantitative Group at Reliant Energy.

Lunch with Dr. Paul Kellstedt, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University. Dr. Kellstedt’s fields of expertise are American politics and methodology. His current research projects include work on economic evaluations in the mass public and an examination of the nature of policy mood. Dr. Kellstedt has teaching interests in public opinion, voting behavior, campaigns and elections, research design, econometrics, and time-series analysis.

Meeting with Dr. Daniel Hill, Department Head, Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University. Dr. Hill is recognized as an industry expert in the areas of production engineering. He serves as the Department Head and Professor and holder of the Noble Endowed Chair in the Department of Petroleum Engineering. Prior to joining Texas A&M in 2004, he taught for 22 years at University of Texas and worked 5 years in industry.

Visit of Drilling Simulator — Computer Animated Drilling Rig Control Room. Jerome Schubert, Associate Professor, Marilyn and W.F. Albers ’47 Faculty Fellow and JoAnn Scott.

Drive to George Bush Presidential Museum. Orientation to The George Bush Presidential Library Archives, Dr. Bob Holzweiss, Deputy Director and Acting Supervisory Archivist, George Bush Presidential Library. Time to individually tour the Museum. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University is dedicated to preserving and making available the records and artifacts of George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States.

Casual dinner at Ann Klaus’ home.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Depart from hotel and drive to Houston International Airport.


A&M EU-Center Program page for the Texas Energy Program

Dr. Zeissig Presentation

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig

CNN reports Fracking-Wastewater Process might trigger Earthquakes

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

Emergency Services Training Institute, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

U.S. Oil Platform catches fire in Gulf of Mexico

Santa Barbara oil spill: Pipeline operator has long record of problems

UCSB Expert Response

Assessing the Risks and Rewards of Oil TransportatioN

Fishing Industry Feeling the Pain After Refugio Oil Spill

Dead Dolphins, Pelicans Continue to Wash Ashore after Refugio Oil Spill

News Analysis: Pipeline Problems Date Back to 1986