Full-Day Focus Opening SEJ Meeting: ‘America’s Emerging Energy Future’

An all-day October 15 workshop kicking-off the Society of Environmental Journalists’ (SEJ) 18th annual conference, in Roanoke, Va., will explore coverage of America’s energy future in the context of climate change concerns and potential impacts on local “coal country” jobs and economies.

Bringing together leading energy researchers, climate experts, and editors and reporters, SEJ says the by-registration special workshop “is designed specifically to address the reporting needs of rural journalists in Appalachia and beyond” and the needs of reporters going beyond environmental and energy beats.

With a pre-registration fee of $60 covering the workshop and breakfast and lunch, the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. agenda will bring together climate, geography, and energy experts from nearby Virginia Tech, host of this year’s SEJ conference, with experts addressing coal “mountaintop removal” practices from industry, activist, and economic perspectives.

Author and Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist Amory Lovins, a 1993 MacArthur Fellowship winner, will make two presentations, one entitled “Winning the Oil Endgame: Principles and Progress toward an Oil-Free America” and the other “Winning the Coal Endgame: The Megawatt and Micropower Revolutions.” Joining Lovins are Virginia Tech experts Jacob Sewall, Kirstin De Beurs and David Roper; Gene Kitts of International Coal Group; Ben Stout of Wheeling Jesuit University; and Joe Lovett of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment. A media panel including Charleston Gazette City Editor Robert J. Byers and Courier-Journal environmental reporter Jim Bruggers will provide the journalism slant on the day’s discussions.

The program, which will be moderated by the Editor of The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, was developed by a planning group including SEJ Conference Co-Chairs Bill Kovarik, of Radford University, and Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward, Jr., Jay Letto of SEJ, and Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and assistant professor at the University of Kentucky.

The workshop will be held in the Shenandoah Room of the Hotel Roanoke.

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