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

Energy Conference draws a crowd

 More than 200 energy enthusiasts took part in "Crisis or Renaissance: A Conference on the State of America's Energy" which wrapped up yesterday afternoon in Sioux Falls, according to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

 The PUC and 11 sponsors hosted the event at the Sioux Falls Sheraton Convention Center. Those attending came from South Dakota as well as North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Virginia, Indiana and Washington, DC.

 "We were very pleased with the number of attendees," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "Obviously, energy is a hot topic in South Dakota as well as throughout the country. We were enlightened by thought-provoking presentations on numerous energy subjects."

 "The energy experts we heard from at this event did a great job of updating us on the various timely topics in energy development," said PUC Vice Chairman Bob Sahr. "South Dakotans were especially interested in the topics of wind development, ethanol and natural gas."

 "The panel presentations were well-attended and evoked interesting discussions and debates on subjects such as green credits, ethanol versus petroleum fuel attributes, and what our energy future may hold as far as sources and investments," said PUC Commissioner Dustin Johnson.

 Keynote addresses were delivered by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood III, Senator Tim Johnson and Senator John Thune.

 All 14 PowerPoint presentations delivered at the conference are accessible via the PUC's Web site at

 The PUC is now in the process of organizing two upcoming events: a broadband event at locations across the state on August 24 and 25, and a regional wind conference on September 11 and 12 in Brookings. Details on these events will be added to the Web site as they are finalized in the coming weeks. Those interested may also call 1(800) 332-1782.