Forum looks at jobs, economy through clean-energy lens

A clean-energy forum at Bates examines the theme Jobs and the Clean Energy Race, looking at the benefits of a successful clean-energy policy for Maine and the nation, and explaining the intricacies of building a new infrastructure and economy around clean energy.

The forum is 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday, April 3, in the Keck Classroom of Pettengill Hall (Pettengill G52), and is organized by Focus the Nation in partnership with the Alliance for Climate Education.

The event provides an opportunity for young people to learn about and discuss clean energy and green jobs, and to speak with elected officials and other community leaders.  Bates organizer Maayan Cohen, a senior from North Middlesex, Vt., is working with high school students to add an even younger perspective to the conversation.

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The forum will be composed of an educational session, including interactive and engaging presentations, and a moderated panel session. There will be a short intermission between the sessions with music and refreshments.

The program begins with an educational session featuring four presenters:

  • Colin Beckman of Repower Maine, discussing energy sources, generation and use, and legislative solutions;
  • Sierra Club representative Joan Saxe, with the talk Clean Energy Jobs and Their Impact on the Community Level;
  • the Environmental Club from Deering High School, in Portland, and students from Learning Works discussing the High School Student Voice;
  • and Bates College EcoReps with College Student Voices.

A 3 p.m. panel discussion features four speakers: Hank Stein of Deering High School, Bill Getz of LearningWorks Youth Building Alternatives in Portland, Bates first-year Margaret Pickoff of Morristown, N.J., and Maine state Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland).

Focus the Nation is a national nonprofit that supports the science of climate change and the opportunity it presents to rebuild American communities and U.S. leadership at the local and international level. The Alliance for Climate Education works with high school students to effect action dealing with the climate crisis.

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