Energizing Appalachia: Regional Approaches for Effective Energy Development
Development District Association of Appalachia
March 11-13, 2007
Developing and managing energy resources is an important topic in today's energy environment. As the demand for energy grows—and projections show tremendous growth ahead—the cost and availability of energy resources are becoming issues of public concern. Rising fuel costs result in a greater share of personal income being spent on gasoline for cars and on electricity and fuels for heating and cooling homes. Businesses and local economies are affected as the costs of manufacturing and shipping products and providing services increase, resulting in higher costs for consumers. The energy challenges facing the nation today are serving as a catalyst to spur the development of energy-related products and processes that can supplement current energy sources and help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Recognizing the abundance of energy resources in the Appalachian Region and the associated economic development opportunities, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federal co-chair and governors in February 2006 called for the creation of an "energy blueprint" that would provide a strategic framework for the promotion of energy-related job opportunities through the stimulation of sustainable energy production, efficiency measures, and innovation efforts throughout the Region. With the release of Energizing Appalachia: A Regional Blueprint for Economic and Energy Development in October 2006, ARC established an energy goal: Develop the Appalachian Region's energy potential to increase the supply of locally produced, clean, affordable energy, and to create and retain jobs.
The Development District Association of Appalachia's (DDAA) 2007 conference, Energizing Appalachia: Regional Approaches for Effective Energy Development, will build on this goal by encouraging the Region's local development districts to engage in activities that promote energy efficiency and encourage the development of renewable forms of energy. Training sessions will describe successful energy-related projects and provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about government programs and funding opportunities for energy-focused projects.
Invited conference speakers include ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope; Thomas C. Dorr, under secretary for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Marilyn A. Brown, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy; and Paul Gilman, director of the Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies. In addition, the DDAA will team up with the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) again this year for two plenary sessions on Tuesday, as well as for a performance by the political satire comedy troupe the Capitol Steps on Monday night. The plenary sessions will feature Washington Post columnist Jeff Birnbaum, an award-winning author, political analyst for Fox News Channel, and regular panelist on the Public Broadcasting System's show Washington Week; and Stanley Collender, managing director at Qorvis Communications. Mr. Birnbaum and Mr. Collender will provide an excellent one-two punch of "inside-the-Beltway" knowledge and insight into the federal budget process that will be both informative and entertaining.