This April, top policy experts and economists will convene at the California Energy Action Summit to ask the hard questions and find real solutions for energy issues that directly impact the state and Santa Barbara County.
Hosted by the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County (EconNSBC), CEAS brings together national energy experts, policy makers, academic economists and regional leaders, from both sides of the debate, in a focused dialogue about the role of new alternative energy technologies and onshore oil and gas opportunities, and their imprint on the future economic well-being of the county and the state.
On Friday, April 12, attendees of the full-day event will interact with private- and public-sector leaders about laying the foundation for a secure energy future, continued environmental leadership, robust economic growth and job creation in Santa Barbara County and California.
The California Energy Action Summit challenges expert panelists to explore the controversial energy questions facing our communities today: How do we achieve our dream of a safe, environmentally friendly energy future that is both technically feasible and economically affordable? How do we unlock the potential of the state and county’s vast energy resources to create economic vitality and high quality jobs while maintaining Santa Barbara County’s stringent environmental standards?
Kicking off the summit will be Bill White, former U.S. deputy secretary of energy under President Bill Clinton, with a keynote overview of “Sustainable and Responsible Oil and Gas Development.”
As the department’s chief operating officer, White promoted the use of new technologies for oil and gas exploration, the development of alternative forms of energy and the diversification of the world’s oil supply. He was mayor of Houston for three terms and is currently chairman of Lazard Houston.
A highlight of CEAS will be USC’s highly anticipated “Powering California: The Monterey Shale and California’s Economic Future,” a new study by leading academic economists that examines the role that development of oil from Monterey Shale can play in job creation, economic activity, personal incomes and government tax revenues over the next 15 years. Co-sponsored with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Price School of Public Policy with the Communications Institute, the report was launched to provide policy makers and leaders in all sectors, the media and the public with an objective analysis of the critical energy challenges facing California.
With a focus on Santa Barbara County’s energy and economic challenges, the UCSB Department of Economics chair, Dr. Peter Rupert, will present the results of the new Santa Barbara County Onshore Oil and Gas Economic Study. Dr. Rupert is also director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, an academic research unit that provides economic data, analysis and forecasts to the Santa Barbara County community.
California Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, will share her political insights on “The Changing Environment in Sacramento” for the luncheon keynote.
Dr. Weber is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and the Environment, the Committee on Biotechnology and the Committee on California’s Clean Energy Economy, among her diverse appointments for the Assembly.
Both panel discussions will explore the use of alternative energy resources in the state. “Emerging Energy Sources: Efficiencies, Renewables and Alternative Fuels” will be moderated by Mike Hackett of NRG Answers LLC, and includes Megan Birney, energy manager for the Community Environmental Council; Josh Simmons, environmental director for the Santa Ynez Chumash Band of Indians; and Angela Hacker, program manager for emPower Santa Barbara County. “The Greening of the Oil Patch” panel will examine the use of solar-powered steam generation, electricity from biomass and using recycled reclaimed water to make steam for oil production.
Other featured speakers will include:
Delore Zimmerman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Praxis Strategy Group — “Fueling Growth: Energy, Economic Development and the North Dakota Miracle”
Anthony Kovscek, Ph.D., professor in the Stanford University Department of Energy Resources Engineering — “Oil-bearing Diatomite: Another Huge California Resource”
Tom Christofk, president of the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association and air pollution control officer for Placer County — “Building Effective Public/Private Partnerships for GHG Emissions Reduction”
Tim Kustic, California State Oil & Gas supervisor, DOGGR — “Regulatory Issues Facing Energy Development in California”
Kevin Hopkins, director of research for the Communications Institute — “Powering California: The Monterey Shale and California’s Economic Future”
Magician, mentalist and entertainer Rich Ferguson will host the full-day event beginning at 8 a.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton. A sponsored cocktail reception will culminate the summit from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for all attendees.
Major CEAS sponsors include the Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Maria Energy and Pacific Coast Energy Company LP.
CEAS is powered by EconNSBC. The Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County is a grassroots effort of a diverse group of private sector and community leaders. A nonprofit organization committed to leveraging regional assets and talent to support existing chamber and other local economic development efforts, EconNSBC is dedicated to the creation of a high-performance community, ready to compete in the 21st-century global economy. By enhancing economic stability through innovation, entrepreneurship, industry cluster and other strategies, EconNSBC and its stakeholders and partners can grow high quality jobs and ensure sustainable economic vitality for northern Santa Barbara County.
— Chris Slaughter is a publicist representing the California Energy Action Summit.