Saturday, July 25, 2009

National Black Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference


By Norris McDonald

Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), invited me to their 17th annual conference as a special guest. Thanks Harry. It was a great conference that addressed some cutting edge issues, including global warming, green jobs and energy entrepreneurship. It was the first time that AAEA, American Association of Blacks in Energy and the NBCC got together in one place to strategize. This strategizing was combined with interactions among energy companies and associations, including Peabody Energy (coal), Edison Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson was the keynote speaker at the Friday breakfast. I introduced her to our Vice President Derry Bigby and introduced her deputy to NBCC Board Chairman Mike Little. There was all kinds of dynamic networking going on.

Particularly interesting was the energy panel entitled, "Energy, Green Jobs, and Renewable Sources: What is this all about? What is a 'green job?' Where are the grants- routine, stimulus, descretionary? We can show you." The moderator was Maurice Stone-Chair, NBCC Energy Committee and panelists included Bryan Just, Senior Economist, American Petroleum Institute, Ross Eisenberg, Energy and Environmental Counsel, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Morry C. Davis, Government Relations, Peabody Energy Corporation.

Another excellent keynote presentation was given by David Owens, Executive Vice Presdent of Business Operation, Edison Electric Institute.

Numerous Obama administration officials also participated in the conference, including Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, among many others.

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