Presidential Energy Policy is Focus of Winning Bailey Speech
(Posted March 4, 2009)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Justin Doutrich, a senior from Marietta, Pa., received the first-place award last night in the annual Juniata College Bailey Oratorical Contest by asking President Barack Obama to "institute a national energy program that will curb our consumption of oil."
Doutrich ticked off three reasons to immediately create a comprehensive energy plan: oil supplies are diminishing; the United States is unprepared for the impact of oil scarcity; and the window of opportunity for action is rapidly closing.
Consider that an American's average petroleum consumption is close to 1,000 gallons of crude per person per year. What if oil scarcity forces us to reduce that number by 50 percent? What products made from oil would you give up? Shopping bags? Shower curtains? Toothbrushes, cosmetics, candles, detergent, deodorant?"
Justin Doutrich, senior, Marietta, Pa.
"Since 1859 the world has extracted more oil from the ground than the previous year, but this cannot continue forever," Doutrich said. "Soon we will reach a peak of production, where we simply can't find enough oil to satisfy the world market, and as supply lags behind demand, process will begin an uncontrollable rise and the era of cheap energy will be over."
Doutrich, who received $1,000 for his award, and six other contestants were asked to address the topic "What advice would you give President Barack Obama about the challenges facing us?" before three judges and an enthusiastic crowd, Tuesday, March 3 in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.
Callandra McCool, a sophomore from Spring Mills, Pa., earned the second-place prize, receiving $500. Jennifer Barry, a senior from Chambersburg, Pa., was awarded the third-place prize, receiving $300.
In his first-place speech, Doutrich said, "The reason we have to act quickly (to enact a policy) is because we are unprepared. Consider that an American's average petroleum consumption is close to 1,000 gallons of crude per person per year. What if oil scarcity forces us to reduce that number by 50 percent? What products made from oil would you give up? Shopping bags? Shower curtains? Toothbrushes, cosmetics, candles, detergent, deodorant?"
He went on to say, "I invite every person in this room to promote conservation by changing your driving habits and turning off the lights, but most of all, be aware of the challenge we face, and look to support our president as he tackles this issue. For the sake of our future, we all have to agree that oil is running out and we are not prepared for that. The time for action is upon us."
Doutrich concluded his speech by saying, "We are now face to face with a potential energy apocalypse and we have a choice. We can continue to burn through oil at a pace faster than any other country, or we can acknowledge what President Obama himself has called 'the fierce urgency of now.'"
The remaining four finalists were: seniors Marci Chamberlain, of Williamsburg, Pa.; Keenan Drenning, of Robertsdale, Pa.; and Hannah Everhart of Sterling, Va.; and sophomore Paige Stott, of Tyrone, Pa.
Judges for the event were:
Connie Kough Pittenger has been a Huntingdon County Commissioner since 2008. Before pursuing elected office, she spent two decades in public broadcasting, first at WITF-TV/Radio in Harrisburg, Pa., and then at Maryland Public Radio. She also served as director of national corporate support at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. She returned to Huntingdon in 2000, and in 2003 opened a Curves fitness center.
Pennsylvania Representative Jerry Stern serves the 80th Legislative District in Blair County and was elected to the legislature in 1992. Before running for representative, Stern was Blair County Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts.
He was elected by his party colleagues as Republican Caucus Secretary in 2006. He also collaborated with Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Fleck of the 81st District to ensure continued state funding for Juniata's Science in Motion program.
Anne Laird, a 2005 Juniata graduate and native of Altoona, Pa., is public affairs coordinator and grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates in Harrisburg, Pa.
She is a member of the Cumberland County Young Democrats, as well as the Harrisburg Choral Society and the Middletown Twilight Baseball Booster Club.
The original Bailey Oratorical Award was established in 1915 by the Honorable Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936. The oratorical contest has a long tradition at Juniata College, as students from all areas of study can compete for the monetary prize. In addition, the name of the winner will be permanently inscribed on an antique loving cup.
Contact Gabe Welsch at email@example.com or (814) 641-3131 for more information.