The Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) held its third annual Energy Summit on October 13th, 2015. This year’s Summit focused on "Air & Energy: The Path Ahead for the U.S. States" and attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 285 attendees.
“This was a perfect year for the Summit to focus on air pollution,” says environmental studies professor Tracey Holloway, leader of the air quality research program at UW–Madison’s Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment and this year’s Summit chair. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of the Clean Power Plan is stimulating conversation throughout the country on energy strategies to reduce emissions without disrupting the economy, and it was highly valuable to gather national experts and further that important conversation.”
Experts from across academia, state and federal regulatory agencies, industry, and non-profits led discussions about a wide range of timely topics including the Clean Power Plan, the new national ozone standard, biofuels, energy use for transportation and in buildings, and the potential for the use of satellite data in supporting air quality regulation. The Summit featured speakers and panelists with highly diverse viewpoints and areas of expertise.
Keynote speaker Susan Hedman, a three-time graduate of UW–Madison and Regional Administrator of the EPA’s Region 5 Office in Chicago, launched the Summit with a thorough review of the Clean Power Plan. During the follow-up panel, diverse opinions were in full view as top attorneys Sean Donahue and Todd Palmer addressed the Plan’s many implications.
“I believe the university serves a unique role in supporting discussions, even difficult ones, that cut across values, politics, and beliefs,” says Holloway. “All participants heard some speakers that resonated with their personal beliefs as well as some who challenged those beliefs. These kinds of discussions, among regulators, industry, environmentalists, and researchers, are rare and yet absolutely essential for a sustainable future.”
“The Wisconsin Energy Institute is proud to have hosted a valuable discussion and lively debate about the interconnections of energy and air quality,” says Mary Blanchard, WEI’s Associate Director.
WEI is grateful to these sponsors for their generous support of the 2015 Energy Summit.
If you missed a speaker or session you wanted to see, video is now available on our Speakers & Sessions page!