Energizing Kentucky conference brings together business, government and education
RELEASED: April 17, 2009
Two special participants in the third conference included Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowship, and Carol Browner, a top energy advisor to President Obama. Diamond and Browner were among several nationally and internationally renowned speakers who addressed the audience during the two-day event.
Diamond, who gave the keynote address on Wednesday evening, commented that current interest in environmentalism may very well be a fad. But through hard work among government, business and individuals, conservation and energy efficiency, it can become an ingrained value throughout the world.
Browner began the conference sessions on Thursday morning.
Environmentalism and big business not only can coexist, but also can actually benefit each other, said Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change.
"A healthy environment is good for the economy," Browner said. "And a strong economy is good for the environment."
Len Peters, secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet of Kentucky, presented Gov. Steve Beshear's strategy for energy independence, "Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky's Future." The plan drew positive responses from legislative leaders and environmental activists. Steven Aumeier, head of the Idaho National Laboratory's Energy Systems and Technologies Division, said the plan "considers an appropriate breadth of energy objectives" and should be a national model. He added that he intends to share the plan with others around the country.
The three-part Energizing Kentucky conferences stemmed from a series of conversations among Centre College President John A. Roush, University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey, Berea College President Larry D. Shinn and University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr., in which they set out to join forces to "make a difference" in the commonwealth.
After several meetings, the four presidents decided to address energy production, consumption and conservation.
"All four of these institutions have made a serious commitment to sustainability," Roush says. "It's what the really good places do and what the good states are going to find a way to do.
"Kentucky is not at the back of the pack," Roush adds. "This kind of conference makes it clear that Kentucky is engaged in this conversation, is prepared to change the way it does its business and is pushing itself in that direction…I really believe this has an opportunity for a lasting impact for good for the commonwealth of Kentucky."
A lunchtime session included poster presentations and energy-related projects by students ranging from second graders to Ph.D. candidates.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422