Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 5, 2012

Conference will explore energy in east Kentucky

MOREHEAD — Exploring the role of energy in eastern Kentucky will be at the center of a conference on April 11 in Morehead.

The conference will examine the future of fossil fuels, alternative sources and new technologies, according to Johnathan Gay, director of Morehead State University’s West Liberty Innovation Center.

“Energy is such an important economic driver in our region,” Gay said. “We’re looking at the economics of it, where the jobs will be.”

The event will start with a panel discussion about the future of energy in eastern Kentucky moderated by Rodney Andrews, director of the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky. Panelists will include Pike County coal operator Rusty Justice, attorney Kevin West and Jason Delambre, who owns an alternative energy company.

Later sessions will address green building construction, fracking and agriculture and energy crops.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time a general audience in eastern Kentucky has been able to learn about fracking,” Gay said. Fracking creates fractures from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations. Pressurized fluids are injected into rock layers to fracture them for extraction of oil and gas.

Later in the day, participants will go to the MSU farm to learn about biofuels, energy plants and energy crops, wind, solar and other energy sources. There will be demonstrations and exhibits.

Those interested in being exhibitors may call Gay at (859) 797-5759 or email him at jgay@kyinnovation.com.

Lunch will be provided at the farm, and complimentary parking is available at the conference center.

The conference is sponsored by MSU, the UK Center for Applied Energy Research, the Young Professionals of Eastern Kentucky, the innovation center and the MSU Energy Club.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2652.

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