Hundreds Of Government Leaders To Gather In Oklahoma

Wednesday, November 7th 2007, 6:30 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E.Peters will be among the speakers as an estimated 600 leaders of state governments from around the country gather in Oklahoma City
next week.

Governor Brad Henry is president of the Council on State Governments. Founded in 1933, the council is headquartered in Lexington, Ky. It is the largest national organization made up of state leaders from all three areas of government -- executive, legislative and judicial.

The Council on State Governments conference is being held Monday and Tuesday as Oklahoma is in the midst of its centennial celebration. The state turns 100 years old on Nov. 16.

"It's a great opportunity for us to showcase the great innovations and vibrancy of our state during the centennial celebration," Governor Brad Henry said. "It will be good for our state, good for our economy."

Besides U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E.Peters, other speakers will include scientist and explorer Robert Ballard and Pulitzer Prize winner and Oklahoma Centennial Poet Laureate N. Scott Momaday.

Delegates to the conference will take part in meetings on such issues as energy, education, health care, aging services and criminal justice.

The governor's initiative during his tenure as president this year has focused on ways to expand the country's energy portfolio.

"The reality of periodic oil shortages, erratic fluctuations in gas prices, threats to our economy and security, and growing environmental concerns illustrate the need for immediate action," Governor Brad Henry says.

Currently, renewable energy sources supply only 6 percent of the nation's energy needs. Those sources include wind, solar and hydroelectric power, as well as biomass fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Governor Brad Henry's initiative recommends a multifaceted approach that stresses the importance of sustainable energy and promotes renewable energy, efficiency and the clean use of traditional energy sources.

During their stay, conference delegations will visit the Oklahoma History Center, the state Capitol and be entertained at a closing dinner at the downtown Skirvin Hotel by Oklahoma country music stars Vince Gill and Blake Shelton.