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Focus on Midwest Energy Conference II — Feb. 23

Register now for the Focus on Midwest Energy Conference II, Feb. 23 at Monona Terrace in Madison. Keynote speakers will include Gary Mar, Alberta’s official representative to the United States, David K. Owens, executive vice president of business operations at the Edison Electric Institute, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and Obama campaign environmental adviser Howard Learner.

The half-day event in Madison will assemble key business, government and research representatives to explore energy issues in light of the changing political landscape in Madison and Washington, D.C. and look ahead to the future of Midwest energy policy. This is the second annual energy event organized by WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com.

New additions to the conference line-up include: Don Guay, assistant professor at UW-Stevens Point in Paper Science & Engineering 2004; Denise Hamsher, director, Public, Federal & Regulatory Affairs, Enbridge Energy Company, Inc.; Ken England, first secretary for energy at the Canadian Embassy in Washington; Jim Turnure, manager, Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy and Dan Ebert, vice president of policy and external affairs, WPPI Energy.

They’ll join previously announced experts, including: Eric Callisto, chair of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission; Tia Nelson, executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands and co-chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming; Ave Bie, partner at Quarles & Brady and former PSC chair; Molly Jahn, dean of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and Pete Taglia, staff scientist for Clean Wisconsin.

The event is open to the public. Individual tickets cost $75 each. Tables are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $600. Student discounts also will be available. The ticket price includes food.

For ticket information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 or greer@wispolitics.com.

Sponsors for this event include Xcel Energy, American Transmission Company, Virchow, Krause & Company, the Wisconsin Petroleum Council, Alliant Energy and Dominion. The government of Canada is an event partner. For sponsorship information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 or greer@wispolitics.com.

Background on the keynoters:
— Gary Mar was appointed in 2007 as the official representative (Minister-Counsellor) of the Province of Alberta to the United States. He leads the Alberta Office in Washington, D.C., co-located in the Canadian Embassy. Prior to his diplomatic posting, Mar served for 14 years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Province of Alberta, Canada, winning four consecutive elections in Calgary, Alberta. He held several Cabinet portfolios – Community Development; Health and Wellness; Education; Environment; and International and Intergovernmental Relations. As Minister of Environment, Gary served as co-chair of Climate Change Central, a public/private partnership formed in response to the international agreement on climate change. He led efforts to create a new provincial park in the Spray Valley to protect this unique and vulnerable area of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

— David Owens has responsibility over the strategic areas of energy supply and the environment, energy delivery, energy services, and international affairs at the Edison Electric Institute. The group focuses on a broad range of issues that affect the future structure of the industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets. Prior to EEI, Owens served as Chief Engineer of the Division of Corporate Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. This division is responsible for regulating public utility holding companies. He also was an engineer in the Division of Rates and Corporate Regulation at the former Federal Power Commission and worked as a design and test engineer for General Electric and Philadelphia Electric Companies, respectively. Owens holds a B.S. and Masters Degree from Howard University and a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.

— U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She has represented Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District since 1999. As a member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, she is actively engaged in crafting legislation to address climate change and is the author of the Greenhouse Gas Registry Act, a bill to create a greenhouse gas registry that will serve as a clearinghouse for accurate, comprehensive, consistent, and transparent information on greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. Further, as a key player in the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which moves the United States closer to energy independence, Baldwin successfully fought for language to increase industrial and home energy efficiency standards, encourage advanced battery and plug-in hybrid programs, minimize exposure to mercury in energy-efficient light bulbs, and study the adequacy of railroad transportation for renewable fuels.

— Howard Learner has served as an adviser to President-elect Obama on environmental and renewable energy issues. Learner is an experienced attorney serving as president and executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization, and he’s responsible for the overall strategic policy direction, development and leadership of this regional public interest organization. Before founding ELPC, he was the general counsel for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a public interest law center specializing in complex civil litigation and policy development. He’s an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School, teaching an advanced environmental law seminar. Education: J.D., Harvard Law School, 1980; B.A., Political Science, University of Michigan, 1976.

WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com are independent, non-partisan news services based in Madison. Go to www.wispolitics.com and www.wisbusiness.com for more on the services.

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