Christopher Smith, a 1986 graduate of Southwest High School, has been nominated for an Energy Department position that includes steering the Obama administration’s policy on exporting natural gas. Smith has headed DOE's fossil energy office on an acting basis for six months. Prior to that he was deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas at DOE, heading an advisory committee to research the risks and benefits of unconventional oil and gas production. He's been at DOE since 2009 and spent 11 years in production and LNG trading for Texaco and Chevron. He is a graduate of West Point and holds a Master of Business Administration from Cambridge University.
Smith's advisory committee was a six-person group consisting of two members each from DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey. It was created by President Barack Obama to "quantify the concerns people have" about shale development and to make sure there are rules "to appropriately mitigate that risk," Smith told us during a 2012 visit to Fort Worth and Barnett Shale operations. He said at the time he believed natural gas could be developed safely. The White House announced Smith’s nomination last week along with several other appointments.
-- Jim Fuquay