A month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and into the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the full environmental costs of the disaster remain unclear. However, some of the event's implications for the oil industry, the political environment, and the future of energy in the United States are already beginning to take shape.

With the help of a panel of industry and policy experts, The Energy Collective explored the circumstances that led to the Gulf oil disaster, and dig into its potential ramifications, for offshore drilling and much more

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David Pettit is the senior attorney in charge of the Natural Resource Defense Council's Southern California Air Quality Program. He is an experienced civil litigator, having tried more than 100 cases in state and federal courts. He has served as a Judge Pro Tem in the Los Angeles Superior and Municipal Courts, and authored articles on land use, and environmental and civil rights for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Los Angeles Lawyer magazine and the National Law Journal. David writes on energy issues on NRDC's Switchboard blog, where he has been following the Gulf oil spill closely.

Geoffrey Styles is Managing Director of GSW Strategy Group, LLC, an energy and environmental strategy consulting firm. His industry experience includes 22 years at Texaco Inc., culminating in a senior position on Texaco’s leadership team for strategy development, focused on the global refining, marketing, transportation and alternative energy businesses, and global issues such as climate change. Previously he held senior positions in alliance management, planning, supply & distribution, and risk management. His "Energy Outlook" blog has been quoted frequently by the Wall Street Journal and was named one of the “Top 50 Eco Blogs” by the Times of London.

Mandy Smithberger, a National Security Investigator with the Project on Government Oversight since 2008, has worked on investigations into multiyear procurement of the troubled F-22A Raptor, federal contracting in response to Hurricane Katrina, inherently governmental functions, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), and the Department of Interior's Royalty-In-Kind program. She has also written and spoken extensively about the federal government's collection of oil and natural gas drilling royalties.

Marc Gunther is a veteran journalist, speaker, writer and consultant whose focus is business and sustainability. Marc is a contributing editor at FORTUNE magazine, a senior writer at Greenbiz.com, a lead blogger at The Energy Collective. He's also a husband and father, a lover of the outdoors and a marathon runner. Marc is the author or co-author of four books, including Faith and Fortune: How Compassionate Capitalism is Transforming American Business. He's a graduate of Yale who lives in Bethesda, MD.