KU conference to explore public energy policy

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will speak at the KU Energy Conference April 14 in Lawrence.

Sponsored by the KU Energy Club and the KU Energy Council, the one-day event at the Oread hotel seeks to prompt conversation on all aspects of energy policy. The conference starts at 8:45 a.m. Brownback’s speech is scheduled for 9 a.m., followed by a question and answer session with conference participants.

Other confirmed conference speakers include:

• John Hofmeister, the retired president of Shell Oil Co. and the author of the 2010 book “Why We Hate the Oil Companies,” who will give the keynote address. After retiring from Shell in 2008, Hofmeister founded Citizens for Affordable Energy, which advocates for nonpartisan affordable energy solutions. Today he is the chief executive of the nonprofit group.

• Larry Kinder, founder of Lily Pad EV, which makes and sells public charging units for electric vehicles

• Bill Eastman, director of environmental services, and Don T. Ford, project manager, both of Westar

• Jim Loving, president of NCRA, a McPherson-based refinery

• Matt Gilhousen, senior vice president of project development of the Lenexa-based wind developer TradeWind Energy

• Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, a nationally known expert on energy policy

• Michael Bruce, senior adviser to the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

• Colin Hansen, executive director of Kansas Municipal Utilities

• Ward Burns, from the Region 7 office of the Environmental Protection Agency

• Susan Williams, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at KU and director of KU’s Biodiesel Initiative

The conference costs $45. Students from any university may attend for free, but they must register. Register online and use the student coupon code KUEC123 when prompted. Student IDs will be checked at the door. Westar Energy and ExxonMobil provided financial support for the conference.

The KU Energy Club is a student organization that was founded in 2010. The KU Energy Council was formed in 2007 to provide the state and industry with energy research, development and education. Led by KU distinguished professors, the council is a division of the KU Center for Research.

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