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An event highlighting energy development in Utah drew attendees from 21 states and Canada.
The Governor’s Energy Development Summit brought together more than 1,000 people with breakout technology sessions on a variety of energy topics as well as networking events. Gov. Gary Herbert opened the summit, while Department of Energy Acting Undersecretary Arun Majumdar gave the keynote speech.
Majumdar praised Utah’s energy plans as thoughtful, comprehensive and balanced. “It is a plan for the 21st century that could be a plan for other states and the nation as a whole,” he said.
The world is looking for leadership in getting away from oil dependence, Majumdar said. The United States should be leading that charge to find alternatives and decrease dependence on foreign oil.
Speaking at the luncheon, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell said too many things, like energy, have become politicized. “Political differences tend to get in the way of the market deciding the winner,” he said. Herbert and Bell want to get more people to sign on to a shared vision of energy development.
Ron Jibson, Questar president and CEO, said the world’s population and energy needs are increasing so quickly that addressing where energy will come from and finding ways to create energy sustainably are very important.
By 2050, there will be 9 billion people in the world and energy needs will be double what they are today. Because of that, Jibson said Americans need to be doing more research and development and looking for more ways to produce energy in a way that will meet increased demand.
Majumdar agreed, saying the country has both great business and learning infrastructures, but the two need to be better combined to create innovative solutions.
“There is intense global competition going on and we have to more fast,” he said.