For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: April 14, 2008
Attorney General Wasden to Host Nation’s First Energy Summit for State Attorneys General
(Boise) - As energy prices rise to record levels and demand continues to climb, Attorneys General will undertake a comprehensive discussion of their legal roles and responsibilities in the development of this country’s energy sources. National Association of Attorneys General President and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will host an energy issues conference, May 5-7, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Under the 2008 NAAG Presidential Initiative on Energy, Attorney General Wasden will host discussions with the states’ chief legal officers, energy industry representatives, federal regulators, environmentalists and other advocacy groups to address growing consumer concerns and the impact on state resources. The meeting will address the complex mix of competing values that dominate every part of the energy field: reliability, resource use, emissions, sustainability and long-term environmental impact.
“Nearly every Attorney General’s office fields complaints about gasoline prices,” Attorney General Wasden said. “We must understand the limits of our authority and our capabilities to address these issues within our respective states or in cooperation with other states. But, this issue is far larger than simply the price of gasoline. The demand for energy will continue to grow as our population continues to grow. As demand grows, our national security interest in our national energy portfolio also grows. As Attorneys General, we need to ensure we have the tools to assist our states as they negotiate the myriad competing priorities in the energy area.”
Attorney General Wasden explained that Attorneys General across the country must begin to consider how to advise governors, legislators and state agencies on the issues of energy regulation, transfer and use. Nationwide, state and federal officials are grappling with complex legal questions like: How much can the country rely on alternative forms of energy? Has the time come to revisit nuclear energy? Or, can wind, waves and other alternatives become significant sources of energy?
“I intend to gather industry, government, and science around the same table to discuss these issues openly and frankly in order to prepare our offices to meet the challenges the energy issue will present in the future,” Attorney General Wasden said. “We need to be able to distinguish reality from rhetoric on this important issue.”
The two-day summit will include a number of experts and industry representatives, including Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister, regulators from the U.S. Department of Energy, representatives of the oil, natural gas, coal and automotive sectors, as well as specialists in economic, financial and scientific aspects of energy.
Other topics included on the agenda are: nuclear energy; emissions and their influence on state energy solutions; the development of new energy sources; global climate change and the law; regulation and deregulation of energy markets; current and future energy demands; energy delivery methods; and, alternative fuels.
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