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WMU hosts first in series of energy conferences

March 25, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will serve as host to the first in a series of national, non-partisan conferences designed to raise public awareness of the connections among energy issues, national security, environmental issues and the U.S. economy.

The first Power Shift Energy Conference is Saturday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the WMU Fetzer Center. The conference, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments is free of charge and open to the public. Advanced reservations are required.

R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is the luncheon keynote speaker. During the afternoon, he also will introduce one of the conference's main features, the "Oil Shockwave" war-game simulation, designed by the National Commission on Energy Policy and Securing America's Future Energy. WMU faculty members and students will be selected to serve in mock roles as government leaders for the simulation.

Kalamazoo Mayor Hannah McKinney will be among those offering welcoming remarks to open the conference. Other speakers throughout the day include Dr. Howard J. Dooley, WMU professor of history; Dr. Walter S. McManus, director of the Automotive Analysis Division of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute; and representatives from a number environmental and energy groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, Michigan Environmental Council and the United Auto Workers.

Future Power Shift Energy Conferences are scheduled at Portland State University, April 8, and at the University of Kansas, April 29, among other locations.

Sponsors for the conference in Kalamazoo are 20/20 Vision, Securing America's Future Energy, the Union of Concerned Scientists, WMU College Democrats and WMU Students for a Sustainable Earth.

For a complete agenda and to register, go to www.power-shift.org.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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