It is a great honor for me to write my first chairman’s message as your new Energy and Environmental Division Chair. I personally have been a member of ASQ since 1979 and a member of what is now known as the Energy and Environmental Division since 1982. My wife and I attended our first conference in September 1982 in Orlando, and we are still coming back. Our professional society has opened many new doors for me throughout these years, and it can do the same for you. The time is particularly right with all the recent happenings in the energy and environmental fields.
The energy supply industry has been in great turmoil since the beginning of the year. Senior administration officials have said nuclear power should account for a higher percentage of U.S. electricity than the current level of 20%. Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States must build 65 power plants annually, and some of those ought to be nuclear. The situation appears chaotic.
However, as one sage once noticed, “out of chaos comes opportunity,” certainly opportunity for the quality community to play major roles in shaping how each of the causes of turmoil is resolved. Most of us want the advantages that plentiful energy supplies bring, but we also want adverse environmental and safety potentials minimized or eliminated. Our division's members represent a national resource. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush have boosted the concept that volunteer participation, from groups like ours, constitutes a vital force in our national life.
Being spread across the nation and the world, we constantly have the opportunity to interact with and influence policy makers. I encourage you to make the commitment of involvement and engagement that will “order the disorder” of our present situation. The personal and professional benefits that we gain from association with EED will be proportional to our participation and collective contributions.
Before closing, I would like to thank our immediate past chair, Dr. John Dew, for the guiding vision and leadership that he provided during the past two years. During his watch, the division faced and overcame some unique challenges and emerged as a stronger, more relevant organization.
Again, it is a great honor to serve you as division chair. I look forward to continuing the activities of this division in a way that adds value to all present and potential members.