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Energy Leaders Share Vision at Strategic Energy Forum

Posted on 11/13/2014 by Joe Gray

Policymakers, educators, utilities and energy producers met and shared their vision for the future at the Strategic Energy Forum held by the National Energy Solutions Institute-Smart Energy Source Association (NESI-SES) on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the Portland Avenue campus of Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb kicked off the forum with a frank discussion about the role that educators and workforce development will have on the future of the energy industry in Oklahoma.  “What we need, at the state level, is for groups like this to tell us how we can use you better to fulfill the state energy plan,” Lamb said.  


Lamb went on to praise the work of the Career Tech system in training energy workers, and stressing that science and research should come ahead of politics when it comes to writing energy policy.


Tom Poteet, manager of power systems for Devon Energy, highlighted the level of communication needed with multiple energy providers working with oil and gas producers.


“We have, I believe, 27 different electric cooperatives in the state, as well as investor-owned and municipal utilities,” Poteet said.  “That’s a lot of different procedures and standards to work with.  What we’ve needed, and are beginning to see with what NESI-SES is doing, is a platform for consistent communication for everyone involved.”


Dr. Steven McKeever of Oklahoma State University also highlighted a new research model that is coming as the result of the NESI-SES Association’s effort to bring industry and education together, and stressed teaching technical skills to future workers all the way down to the K-12 grade levels.


Forum attendees also heard from several panels of experts including Mike Ming of General Electric, Oklahoma Deputy Secretary of Energy Craig Sundstrom, and Dr. Mike Stice, CEO of Access Midstream, who encouraged attendees to “Embrace risk, embrace technology, and focus on the future, not the present.”


“This forum gave us a unique opportunity to get leaders from the energy industry in the same room to share their ideas and vision for the future,” said David Swank, CEO of the NESI-SES Association.  “The things we heard here today reinforced our commitment to providing a platform for all of the stakeholders from industry, policymakers and educators to continue to work together.”

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