The National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) kicks off next week in Portland, Oregon, with a three-day slate (June 15-17) of sessions and workshops highlighting local and global energy issues and solutions.
The plenary session on Tuesday will focus on national energy policy, including pending cap and trade legislation and its impacts on the low income. On Wednesday a general session explores what states are accomplishing in energy programs funded through regional greenhouse gas initiatives.
Luncheon speakers are Stephen J. Wright, head of the Bonneville Power Administration and Patricia Limerick of the Center of the American West, a popular speaker at last year’s event. Other speakers include Ron Ruggiero of the Apollo Alliance, Jesse Heier of the MidWestern Governors Association and Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, and Bill Drumheller of the Oregon Department of Housing and Western Climate Initiative
Also featured will be “poverty simulation” workshops for three hours on Monday. These are designed to help attendees understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low- income families, including single parents, people with disabilities and senior citizens; they are tasked with providing food, shelter and other basic necessities during four 15-minute units that simulate weeks.
The event will be at the Double Tree Hotel Portland-Lloyd Center and will be preceded by the annual meeting of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association on Sunday June 14 and the morning of Monday June 15.
The NEUAC merges the annual conferences of the National Fuel Funds Network and National Low Income Energy Consortium to create the largest national gathering of the low-income energy community.