Professor Spence's research and teaching focuses on business-government relations and the regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina. Professor Spence has taught as a visitor at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, the Vanderbilt Law School, the Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School, IMADEC University in Vienna, Austria, and the Bren School of the Environment at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
As part of the Texas Executive Education open enrollment program, Spence teaches the following courses: External Stakeholders; Ethics and Social Responsibility in Emerging Energy Markets.
Posts by David Spence
Posts about David Spence
Americans have fractured feelings about today’s boom in natural gas. They want more of it produced here at home, but they’re sharply divided about the chief technology for getting it out of the ground: hydraulic fracturing of subterranean shale. That’s a top trend in the latest University of Texas Energy Poll, released April 9.
Message to both parties: Despite high gas prices, weak economy, more Americans feel positive about energy.
Election-year politics aren't the only barrier to thoughtful energy policy reform. Complicated trade-offs between environmental and economic risks and rewards are seldom discussed in a meaningful way — a challenge that predates the current political climate.
Looking at the comprehensive risks associated with the way we produce and use energy means more than simply looking at them through the prism of the most recent accident.
Growing controversy over the environmental ramifications of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has dampened enthusiasm over that method of extracting natural gas from shale. A new study will take a comprehensive look at the environmental issues and regulatory climate related to fracking in an effort to “separate fact from fiction.”
Plentiful and comparatively clean, but also politically charged, there is almost no question that natural gas will play an important role in the U.S. energy future. With the almost continual upward revision of reserves from shale gas, there is sufficient supply to replace some coal burning power plants with cleaner burning natural gas power plants, and perhaps, use natural gas as a transportation fuel, either directly or indirectly with electric vehicles. Professor David Spence, the UT McCombs expert on energy policy, shares his insights on the future of shale gas with Sheridan Titman.
There’s no place like a home. For most of a decade, that belief fueled a boom in home mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. It looked like a win-win-win-win proposition for borrowers, mortgage brokers, bankers, and investors alike. It offered the ultimate proof that private greed produces public good. Until it didn’t. “We still wanted to believe it was true that acting in your own self-interest would produce good results,” says Greg Hallman, senior lecturer in the finance department at the McCombs School of Business. “But in this case, that idea clearly led to a horrible outcome.”
Complex regulatory policies can disguise costs.