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Top U.S. Energy Leaders Kick Off 2009 Aspen Environment Forum; Video Clips to be Available Throughout on

Published 03-25-09

Submitted by Aspen Institute

ASPEN, CO. - March 25, 2009 - US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco, and United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner are among more than 100 international energy and environment leaders, including speaking at the 2009 Aspen Environment Forum, themed "Powering the Planet: Energy for the Long Run." Throughout the Forum, video excerpts from these discussions, plus more clips of select Forum sessions, will be posted daily to

To view the full list of accepted speakers, visit

"This is a critical year for energy choices, whether you're looking at it from a climate perspective, an energy security perspective, or an economics perspective," says Aspen Environment Forum Executive Director David Monsma. "The choices we make in the next year - in the private sector, in the White House and Congress, and as individual consumers - are poised to change our lives in the years to come. That's why we need now, more than ever, to find ways to approach climate, energy, the economy together in cohesive policy. We are faced with critical challenges but also incredible opportunities. The Aspen Environment Forum will offer a complex and powerful look at the landscape here, offering up best ideas, hopefully some clear answers, and promising solutions - as well as big dreams for the future."

The Forum, presented by the Aspen Institute and National Geographic, will convene leading minds in science, business, policy, and journalism for a powerful, three-day exchange of ideas and solutions around the world's energy challenges and opportunities. Together, members of the public, scientists, policy makers, business leaders, and scholars will engage with the audience to discuss and debate energy use, energy economics, natural resources and extraction, cutting-edge technologies, efficiency, conservation, climate change, food production, and more. Registration for this public forum, which runs from March 25"“28, is still open at

Designed to offer a realistic look at grave challenges and highlight bold solutions, the Forum presents a distinct theme each day:

  • Day One: The Power Challenges

  • Day Two: Energy Transitions

  • Day Three: New Energy World
To view an abbreviated version of the Forum's Program Agenda and view the list of daily Forum sessions, visit

Joining the dialogue will be National Geographic scientists, editors, and journalists, who will bring unique perspectives through stunning images and stories that document global environmental issues. The Aspen Environment Forum also invites members of the public to join in and let their voices be heard.

"We are now challenged to find new ways to power the planet that can both sustain us and be sustained into the future. The 2009 forum presents a critical opportunity to engage one another, as well as key decision makers, on our shared energy future," said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. "We're thrilled to bring the forum back for a second year with National Geographic, an ideal partner and a global leader in connecting people to a world larger than the one in which they live."

"National Geographic has a longstanding commitment to showing how people impact life on Earth, and the magazine has led the way in documenting the world's environmental and energy challenges. Now, more than ever, we need to bring a clear-eyed vision to reporting on the challenges facing us around energy sources and energy use and to exploring solutions," said Chris Johns, editor in chief of National Geographic magazine. "The Aspen Environment Forum is a powerful way to harness many voices and perspectives around this important topic, and we are excited to join the Aspen Institute for the second year in creating a venue for this important conversation."

Media interested in covering this event should contact Elizabeth Judge for more information at or (202) 285-8289. For general registration, contact Deborah Murphy at (970) 544-7960 or, or go to the forum's website at

Sponsors for the Aspen Environment Forum, presented by the Aspen Institute and National Geographic, include Duke Energy, Shell, and GM.

About the Aspen Institute"¨

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colo., and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.

The goal of the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program is to provide the leadership and a neutral forum for improving policy making through intentional dialogue in the areas of energy and environmental policy. The Program’s neutrality and intentional dialogue method provide an impartial venue for leaders to engage in informed discussion and inquiry on the important issues of our time.

About National Geographic

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Since 1888, the Society has funded more than 9,000 expeditions around the globe, encouraging conservation of natural resources and raising public awareness of the importance of natural places, the plants and wildlife that inhabit them, and the environmental problems that threaten them. Through various media vehicles, including its official journal, National Geographic magazine, the Society reaches more than 325 million people a month.

National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photojournalism to inform people about life on our planet. Published in English and 31 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. In 2007 and 2008 it won a total of five prestigious National Magazine Awards, including the top award for General Excellence both years. In 2008, the magazine won first place for explanatory reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists for stories on climate change and biofuels.

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Aspen Institute

Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @AspenInstitute.

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