Energetic event offers educational opportunity

George Rossman

Phil Castle, The Business Times

George Rossman is never sure what will be the more educational venue at the annual event she organizes focusing on energy in Western Colorado — the forum or expo.

While participants attend a series of presentations by experts at the forum, a lot of questions also are asked and answered at an expo featuring companies involved in traditional and renewable energy production.

The combination of the forum and expo at one place and one time makes the event unique, Rossman said. “It’s pretty much the only one.”

The next Energy Forum & Expo is scheduled for Feb. 22 at Two Rivers Convention Center, 159 Main St. in downtown Grand Junction. The forum will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., while the expo will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both the forum and expo are free and open to the public. More information is available from the website at www.energyexpoco.com.

The goal each year in staging the Energy Forum & Expo is educational, Rossman said. The event covers the wide spectrum of energy resources because all of those resources are found in Western Colorado, she added. “Everything you need in energy is here.”

To that end, the upcoming forum will feature speakers addressing coal, oil shale and other traditional energy sources, but also renewable energy sources.

Robert Bryce, an author, journalist and public speaker, is scheduled to deliver the keynote presentation at 1:15 p.m.

Bryce has written several books, including most recently “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.” He’s also written numerous articles for such publications as the National Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Bryce frequently appears on television and radio shows broadcast on the CNN, Fox and MSNBC networks as well as National Public Radio. In addition, he serves as a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute Center for Energy Policy and the Environment.

At the forum in Grand Junction, Bryce is scheduled to deliver a presentation titled “Two Energy Imperatives: Density and Scale.”

Bryce describes in his book “Power Hungry” what he calls the four “imperatives” of energy: energy density, power density, cost and scale.

Analyzing those imperatives makes it possible to compare various sources of energy production.

Bryce makes a case in the book for heavier reliance upon natural gas as a bridge toward the increased use of nuclear power.

The forum also will feature Jeremy Boak, director of the Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research at the Colorado School of Mines, and his presentation on the prospects for oil shale production. Frank Clemente, a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University, will discuss coal-based energy as a foundation for social development. John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute, is scheduled to return to the forum for a second straight year to discuss the facts associated with national energy policy.

Representatives from the Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission will offer updates on the activities of the state office and commission.

Meanwhile, the expo will feature 60 vendors, including companies involved in the exploration and production of fossil fuels as well as those involved with harnessing renewable energy.  Rossman said there’s an educational component to the expo as representatives explain what the companies do and how they do it.