Pitzer College Alum Char Miller ’75 Convenes Symposium on Oil and Gas Consumption in So Cal

PetroLAClaremont, Calif. (October 6, 2014)—This weekend, the symposium PetroLA: Energy and the Development of Southern California will probe the profound impact of the production, refining, and consumption of oil and gas in Southern California. Pitzer alumnus and W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College Char Miller ’75 helped organize the conference and will MC the event. Pitzer’s Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability is co-sponsoring the symposium. PetroLA will be hosted by Pomona College in the college’s Rose Hills Theatre on October 10 and 11, 2014, and is free and open to the public.

PetroLA begins Friday, October 10 at 7 p.m. with the screening of How to Look at a Southern California Sunset, a student documentary on regional air pollution.

On Saturday, October 11, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m., the PetroLA symposium presents:

  • “‘Sacrificed on the Altar of Oil:’ Los Angeles’ Uneasy Relationship with Petroleum,” Nancy Quam-Wickham, chair of the department of history at California State University, Long Beach
  • “Black Tides of Change: The Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969 and its Consequences,” Roderick Frazier Nash, America’s foremost wilderness historian, author of The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics and professor emeritus of environmental studies at University of California, Santa Barbara
  • “Petrochemical America: Picturing Cancer Alley,” Kate Orff, SCAPE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE founding principle and associate professor of architecture, planning, and preservation, Columbia University
  • “Air Quality, Greenhouse Gases and Energy in the South Coast Basin,” Aaron Katzenstein, climate and energy program supervisor, South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • “Fracking in Southern California: Protecting Our Communities From Risky Oil Development,” Damon Nagami, senior attorney and director of the Natural Resources Defense Council Southern California Ecosystems Project
  • Convener: Char Miller, W.M. Keck professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College and the author 10 books including Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy and On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest.

PetroLA is held in collaboration with the Pomona College Museum of Art’s presentation of the traveling exhibition Petrochemical America: Project Room. In addition to the Robert Redford Conservancy, PetroLA is sponsored by the Pomona College’s Mellon Foundation-Elemental Arts Initiative, the Pomona College Environmental Analysis Program and the Pomona College Museum of Art.