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Saturday, Nov 10 2012 11:34 AM

Sixth Annual Energy Summit Set for Nov. 14

BAKERSFIELD--Assembly Bill 32, more widely known as the California Global Warming Solutions Act, will be the main topic of discussion at the sixth annual Kern County Energy Summit, set for Nov. 14 at the Marriott at the Convention Center in Bakersfield.

If supported by our newly elected officials, the winds of change will blow on Kern County's number-one export energy--oil, as the law's aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Studies show that the implementation of AB 32's many regulations, including the cap-and trade auction, will harm California's economy. Not to mention the devastating effect it will have to a robust energy industry that continues to fuel Kern County's economic recovery.

"The timing for this summit is excellent because we are at a point in time where state regulations such as AB 32 and also the possibility of the federal wind tax expiring could have a significant impact on Kern County's energy industry," said Cheryl Scott, vice president of the Kern Economic Development Corporation, which is hosting the event.

"Attendees will receive up-to-date information the progress of these (AB 32) and other actions affecting our region."

There will be several presentation throughout the day, including a "down to the wire" update by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, specifically focused on the Cap and Trade component, which is scheduled to begin in mid-November with the auction of emission allowances.

Kern County's growing renewable energy sector will also share their spotlight as various speakers, including Michael Picker (senior advisor to the governor for renewable energy facilities), and Lorelei Oviatt (director of the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department) will review Kern County's current renewable energy portfolio and look ahead to the industry's future, including the impact of the possible elimination of wind tax credits at the federal level.

Robert Fountain, consultant for Regional Economics, will present on the economic sustainability of the energy industry in Kern County, along with its relationship to the global market, while keynote speaker Amanda Little, author and Vanderbilt University professor of journalism, is scheduled to address the topic of the new energy economy.

Little has published widely on the environment, energy and technology for more than a decade and currently writes for Forbes.com. She is the recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for excellence in environmental journalism for articles that have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Wired, O Magazine, New York, and the Washington Post.

The day will conclude with a screening of the documentary "Switch," part of the Switch Energy Project, a multi-pronged effort to build a global understanding of energy.

"Professionals representing all aspects of the energy industry would benefit from this event, especially as it relates to looking forward in planning for future investment in local energy projects," Scott said. "We'll also have information that will be of interest to individuals and businesses wishing to become more energy-efficient."

Registration for this year's event is $75, including breakfast and lunch, and is available at www.kedc.com.

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