News Release

NAS and NAE hosting energy summit March 13-14

Peer-Reviewed Publication

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

WASHINGTON -- Today, the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering kicked off a two-day summit convened to examine the increasing importance of energy policy to the nation's security, economic vitality, and environment. The summit, intended to stimulate discussion among experts with diverse points of view on energy issues, will inform a study under way called "America's Energy Future: Technology Opportunities, Risks, and Tradeoffs." Those who cannot attend the event may watch or listen to a live webcast at

"Over these two days we are bringing together many of the nation's foremost leaders and experts on energy and related economic, environmental, and geopolitical issues; their insight will help lay the foundation for a comprehensive study on options for managing energy use wisely in the 21st century," said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone.

"Our nation's future prosperity and security depend on access to clean, affordable, safe, and sustainable sources of energy," added NAE President Charles M. Vest. "Our immediate goal is to provide policymakers with accurate technical and economic facts regarding various existing and potential energy technologies."

Highlights of today's agenda include a discussion of current U.S. energy policy by SEN. JEFF BINGAMAN, D-N.M., chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; a look at the geopolitical context of the nation's energy supply by JAMES R. SCHLESINGER, chairman of the Mitre Corp. and a senior adviser at Lehman Brothers; and closing remarks by U.S. Energy Secretary SAMUEL BODMAN. Sessions will also examine coal, nuclear power, biofuels, and hydrogen, as well as the implications for automotive fuel economy.

Tomorrow's lineup includes a talk titled "Ending the Energy Stalemate," by JOHN P. HOLDREN, professor at Harvard University and co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy; a discussion on moving toward a sustainable energy future by STEVEN CHU, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-chair of the InterAcademy Council Study Panel on a Sustainable Energy Future; and remarks by ARMORY LOVINS, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute and principal investigator for WINNING THE OIL ENDGAME. Other topics include innovative electricity projects, Google's program for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and technologies to confront climate change.

The study on America's Energy Future aims to provide estimates of the current contributions and future potential of both existing and new energy technologies, as well as their associated impacts and projected costs.

The resulting series of reports will serve as a foundation for future studies related to energy research and development priorities, strategic energy technology development, and policy analysis. Different panels will examine technologies in energy efficiency, alternative transportation fuels, and electricity generation from renewable energy sources; a committee of 25 experts will draw on their findings to produce a final report expected by the end of 2008. More information is available at


Funding for America's Energy Future, including the summit, is being provided by Dow Chemical Company Foundation, GE Energy, General Motors Corp., Intel Corp., Fred Kavli and the Kavli Foundation, Joe and Glenna Moore, W.M. Keck Foundation, the National Academies, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

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