State Legislators Convene for Energy Summit

Published August 21, 2007

(Chicago, IL – August 21, 2007) On August 17-18, The Heartland Institute brought together more than a dozen experts on environment and energy policies to meet with nearly 50 state elected officials in Newport, Rhode Island for the Eastern Regional Energy Summit. The agenda included air quality, biofuels, energy independence, global warming, natural gas, and nuclear power. Speakers included experts from the Cato Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, U.S. Department of Energy, Institute for Energy Research, and The Heartland Institute. Former Congressman Richard Pombo gave introductory remarks.

Pombo, who chaired the House Committee on Natural Resources, set the stage for the conference by identifying three key issues in the energy debate: reliance on foreign countries for energy, the energy sector’s record during the past 30 years, and whether a national comprehensive energy plan is needed. Later speakers addressed these issues often, not always agreeing on their assessment of the situation or the best public policies to pursue.

Sandy Liddy Bourne, Heartland’s vice president for policy and strategic development, stated, “This was a good opportunity for state legislators to be educated about the current status of regional energy markets and to review a variety of approaches to solving energy policy problems for the purpose of ensuring that consumers have affordable and reliable energy resources.”

Trevor Martin, Heartland’s director of government relations, noted, “The Eastern Regional Energy Summit was part of Heartland’s effort to educate our legislator members on the science and economics surrounding the debates about global warming, energy policy, and air quality that are ongoing in statehouses across the country.”