Energy Summit

Shaping the energy and economic priorities of minorities and historically underserved communities was the
focus of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Policy Summit (the “Summit) held on January 31
and February 1, 2013, at the Heritage Center of the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. This
landmark two-day gathering brought together over 200 attendees, including the leadership of prominent
national organizations representing people of color.

The Summit dialogue focused on three significant economic factors facing underserved communities —
mitigation of rising energy costs, increasing opportunities for minority-owned small business and new jobs
creation. A fourth issue emerged during the course of the discussion — science, technology, engineering and
math education (STEM) as a foundation for upward mobility and energy sector jobs.  These issues demand our attention as the United States (U.S.) stands at an important threshold regarding national energy policy. President Obama breathed new life into the energy policy debate by resurrecting the climate change issue during his inaugural address and state of the union speech. Meanwhile, the country is in the midst of a natural gas revolution, with projections showing that the U.S. could become a net exporter of energy in the next decade.

The Summit emphasized the need for stakeholder organizations representing minority and underserved
communities to voice their shared priorities and goals, and to secure their seats at the table for the national energy
policy debate. The Summit is a first step to ensuring that this goal is achieved.  A key factor contributing to the success of the Summit was the impressive list of public policy leaders in attendance. These energy policy experts both educated and engaged the audience. Congressional leaders and top Administration officials presented balanced and diverse perspectives on the issues. The keynote and plenary speakers included:


• The Honorable James E. Clyburn (D-SC)
Assistant Democratic Leader, United States House of Representatives
• The Honorable Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs;
• The Honorable G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
• The Honorable Robert Perciasepe
Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Ms. Donna Brazile
Vice Chairwoman, Democratic National Committee

To read the Final Report of the Summit click here.
 

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