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Ozarks New Energy Conference to be Held this Month

The Ozarks New Energy Conference is set to take place February 22 and 23 at the Gillioz Theater in downtown Springfield. The goal of the event is to promote energy independence and environmental awareness through a series of high-profile speakers and large-scale demonstrations. KSMU's Megan Keathley has more.

The Ozarks New Energy Conference plans to target local farmers, environmentalists, business owners and investors interested in the research and production of alternative energy. At a time when gas prices and energy bills are soaring, the ONE Conference intends to be the first step toward creating sustainable, affordable fuels and power in Missouri.

Congressman Roy Blunt will speak on the federal energy policy, as well as alternative energy opportunities available here in the Ozarks. Organizational committee member Dan Chiles says that Energy Security in Missouri and across the nation means relying less on foreign oil and more on homeland resources.

In addition to several other speakers, the ONE Conference will feature an alternative car show. Vehicles on display will include a solar-powered truck, cars converted to run on vegetable oil, and a hydrogen-powered commuter bus, designed for the Army by Ford Motor Company/ and Missouri University of Science and Technology. The vehicle is one of only 15 such prototypes in the world.

Chiles maintains that the conference isn't just for ecologists and investors: contractors will be available to talk with home-owners on how to install things like solar panels or rainwater collection systems. In the end, says Chiles, it's all about making connections and making a difference.