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Energy Security Summit Presenters
Industry leaders gathered on March 21-22, 2005, at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) for Senator Kent Conrad's "Energy Security Summit" to hear about top energy strategies across the nation. The conference examined alternative and traditional sources of domestic energy and how North Dakota can play a greater role in making the United States more energy independent. Attendees from 13 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada attended the Summit.

The Summit provided an opportunity for representatives from industry, government, and research entities to discuss the issues that our nation and the world are facing regarding energy dependence and opportunities to decrease that dependency, leading to a call to action on comprehensive national energy legislation. Also discussed was North Dakota's enormous potential to improve the energy security situation in our country through increased production of agri-based fuels, wind power, oil, and lignite coal.

"I have gathered together some of the nation's leading energy experts to explore ways in which our nation can decrease its dependence on foreign oil," Senator Conrad said. "And I've invited them here to Grand Forks because I believe North Dakota plays a key role in making this plan for greater energy independence a reality."

Participants in the two-day Summit included Jeffrey Clay Sell, Deputy Energy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Linda Stuntz, Commissioner on the National Commission on Energy Policy and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy; James Placke, Senior Associate, Cambridge Energy Research Associates and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Gregg Vesey, President of Chevron-Texaco Technology Ventures; Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND); North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson; Ron Harper, CEO of Basin Electric Power Cooperative; and John Dwyer, President of the Lignite Energy Council.

Kent Conrad announced during a press conference that a private company is going to construct a $50 million biodiesel- manufacturing plant in Minot, North Dakota, which will be the largest biodiesel refinery in North America. The plant will be able to produce 100,000 tons of premium biodiesel annually from more than 355,000 acres of North Dakota-grown canola and pump millions of dollars into the local economy which will produce hundreds of jobs.

"Having this world-class production complex come to North Dakota is exactly the type of investment and innovation that we have been discussing at my Energy Security Summit," Senator Conrad said. "It will mean several things for our state - millions of dollars pumped into the state's economy, a key role in manufacturing biodiesel and, best of all, it's a real marriage between two of North Dakota's greatest strengths - manufacturing and agriculture."

Topics Addressed
Reducing U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil
Ensuring an Affordable and Reliable Electricity Grid
Using Agri-Based Fuels to Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption
Challenges and Opportunities Facing the U.S. Coal Sector
Policy Options to Speed Up the Move to a Hydrogen Economy
Expanding the Use of Wind Power in the United States

Sponsored by:
U.S. Senator Kent Conrad

Cohosted with:
UND Energy & Environmental Research Center

Conference Materials
Conference materials are free by contacting LaRae Foerster at (701) 777-5246 or by e-mail

Energy Security Summit | EERC