by JACOB H. FRIES & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & t's not every day you find the top law officials from around the country in the same room with oil titans and car manufacturers. But that's exactly what's going to happen next month at the Coeur d'Alene Resort; it's all part of a first-ever energy summit designed to teach the nation's state attorneys general how to navigate the gnarly waters that is energy policy.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is hosting the conference, scheduled for May 5-7. Among the speakers are the president of Shell Oil, a representative of General Electric and regulators from the federal Department of Energy. As of press time, more than 100 people had registered to attend for the summit, which is open to the public.
"I intend to gather industry, government, and science around the same table to discuss these issues openly and frankly in order to prepare our offices to meet the challenges the energy issue will present in the future," Wasden says in a statement. "We need to be able to distinguish reality from rhetoric on this important issue."
Topics for discussion will include nuclear energy, alternative fuels, global climate change and regulation of energy markets, although the complete agenda has not been finalized yet.
"This issue is far larger than simply the price of gasoline," Wasden says. "The demand for energy will continue to grow as our population continues to grow. As demand grows, our national security interest in our national energy portfolio also grows. As Attorneys General, we need to ensure we have the tools to assist our states as they negotiate the myriad competing priorities in the energy area."