NMSU energy conference has impressive list of speakers

August 21, 2009 by Mario Montes NMSU News Center

An impressive list of keynote speakers topped by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu; Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; New Mexico’s Lt. Gov. Diane Denish; and an array of experts and scholars representing private industry and academia will be part of New Mexico State University’s and honorary co-chairman Congressman Harry Teague’s energy conference Aug. 31- Sept. 1.

Jones will address registered, conference attendees at a noon luncheon Sept. 1. Secretary Chu’s participation was announced last week and he will speak at the conference’s evening reception Aug. 31. Lt. Gov. Denish will speak at the noon luncheon Aug. 31. All “Re-Energize America: Policy, Practice and Possibility for America’s Future” events will be held at NMSU’s Corbett Center Ballrooms.

A charismatic speaker, Jones is the founder and former president of Green for All, a national organization whose goal is to “build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty,” according to their Web site. In March 2009, President Obama selected Jones to lead the administration’s “agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources. Jones will also help to shape and advance the administration’s energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities,” according to the announcement by the White House Council on Environmental Quality of Jones’ appointment.

“Van Jones’ work with Green for All and now as Special Advisor for Green Jobs supports the research and academic programs at New Mexico State University. We are pleased that he will be a part of this month’s energy conference,” said Interim President Manuel Pacheco. “The university is devoted to educating the workforce of tomorrow so America can meet the demands for the new technology, discovery and jobs necessary to meet America’s future energy needs.”

“I am very proud that both Special Advisor Jones and Lt. Gov. Denish will be speaking at the conference. As we move to a 21st century energy economy it is critical that we get every perspective on how to best expand employment opportunities for New Mexico’s renewable energy industry while protecting and increasing our oil and gas production opportunities as well,” said New Mexico Congressman Harry Teague.

“I am honored to participate in NMSU’s Energy Conference, and look forward to discussing how we can create jobs while protecting our environment,” said Jones. “It is clear that Congressman Teague understands the important role that clean energy jobs can play in our new economy.”

Jones has been interviewed extensively by print and broadcast media for his views and ideas on green jobs, which formed the basis of his Green for All organization in Oakland, Calif. In an interview with The New Yorker, the magazine tells of Jones speaking to a room of about 30 high school dropouts from New Bedford, Mass., urging them, in a straight-forward, street-talking way, that they should be the ones to build and install the windmills, solar panels and other energy-saving devices of the future. Jones’ message on green jobs is that all levels of society must be brought in to fix the environment and energy woes. And the creation of green jobs at all levels must be the focus.

The two-day conference will give participants opportunities to discuss how they can start or grow their own energy venture and hear industry experts and scholars in renewable technologies, markets and policies, the energy water nexus and challenges, energy and agriculture, algal biofuels and biomass, solar and wind research, storage and land use, micro-grid and smart-grid systems, natural gas, nuclear power, and many other possibilities to sustain America’s energy needs.

All panels, discussions and speaking events will be at the NMSU Corbett Center Ballrooms on the third floor. A list of speakers and a schedule of events can be found at http://energize.nmsu.edu/re-energizing-america-en.html.

For more information on the conference and to register, go to http://energize.nmsu.edu/ or call Brenda Dunn at (575) 646-2575 or Aggie Saltman at (575) 646-9323.

Participants attending the day events can download a temporary parking permit at http://www.campusvisitor.com.

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