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CONTACT: Patricia Van Gerpen, phone (605) 773-3201

 Energy Conference to feature energy experts on hot topics

Will the cost of heating our homes become greater than our house payments? How dependent is the United States on traditional energy sources versus renewable, environment-friendly sources? What are the true costs of sources of renewable energy?

These questions will be raised and experts will provide their opinions at the "Crisis or Renaissance? A Conference on the State of America's Energy," April 18-20 at the Sheraton Convention Center, Sioux Falls. The event is being hosted by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

"There are so many serious, thought-provoking questions when it comes to the energy arena and the industry's effect on the economy and environment of our state, the nation and the world," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "Our goal with this conference is to focus on these important energy questions with the experts at our elbows."

"We'll hear from specialists with the latest news on hydrogen, coal, solar, petroleum, ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, nuclear, biomass and wind energy," said PUC Vice Chairman Bob Sahr. "We're also excited to have press moderators at each session that will help us digest and dissect the information presented by these experts."

"We'll have presentations on energy's affect on the environment – like Matthew Brown with The Energy Project, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Randy Udall with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency," said Commissioner Dusty Johnson. "They will help us understand the huge impact our energy dependence has on the environment, based on the latest research."

The conference will include two keynote presentations. The April 19 keynote will be given by President Bush's appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood III, and the April 20 keynote will feature messages from United States Senators Tim Johnson and John Thune.

The full conference agenda and online registration can be accessed at or by calling 1 (800) 332-1782.

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