Lieutenant Governor, Energy Commissioner to Speak at Green California Summit

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Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi and Commissioner Dian Grueneich of the California Public Utilities Commission will speak at the Green California Summit and Exposition, which will take place in Sacramento from April 7-9. Garamendi and Grueneich join keynotes Rick Fedrizzi, U.S. Green Building Council Founding Chairman, and author Hunter Lovins (Natural Capitalism, Climate Protection Manual for Cities).

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi and Commissioner Dian Grueneich of the California Public Utilities Commission will speak at the Green California Summit and Exposition, which will take place in Sacramento from April 7-9. Garamendi and Grueneich join keynotes Rick Fedrizzi, U.S. Green Building Council Founding Chairman, and author Hunter Lovins (Natural Capitalism, Climate Protection Manual for Cities).

The Summit, developed by an Advisory Board of senior executives from state and local government and leaders from the private sector, is intended to speed efforts to create clean and sustainable communities throughout the state. The program includes dozens of workshops and educational sessions focused on sustainability initiatives and successful strategies for implementing them, as well as exhibits from more than 200 companies offering green products and services.

"Much of the battle to preserve California's environment is being fought at the local level," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities. "The Green California Summit provides a much-needed forum to share best practices and to discover the newest, most innovative green products and services."

Presenters in the educational program include: Dr. Scott Samuelsen , director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center; Dr. Mark Rentschler, Green Seal's Director of Institutional Greening Programs; Senator Christine Kehoe; Tim Kohut, Architectural Director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center; David Cohen, Real Estate Product Director for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and Rear Adm. Leendert Hering Sr., Navy Region Southwest - as well as experts from a wide range of government departments and agencies.

The 2008 Summit also includes program elements for those involved in commercial real estate. Notable among these is a session led by Dr. Norm Miller of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego, author of a recent report documenting the fact that commercial customers are willing to pay as much as $15 per square foot extra for buying an industry-certified green office building. Peter Morris, principal at Davis Langdon, and author of "Costing Green" (2004) and "Costing Green Revisited" (2007) - studies which established that there is no significant difference between the costs of building conventional and "green" structures - will also present at the Summit.

In a recent interview with Green Technology Magazine, Bharat Patel, senior vice president and director of sustainability at HOK Architects, discussed the economic potential of the green movement. "Innovation has always come to our rescue," he noted. "America has always excelled in it; we're not good, we're brilliant at it. I deal with a lot of venture capitalists, and there's more money being brought into the green movement in California than into software and hardware combined.

"Venture capital holds itself where there's innovation," said Patel, "and innovation drives California."

"The diversity among both presenters and attendees is striking," said Bob Graves, president of Green Technology, the non-profit that is organizing the event. "Economic and environmental pressures have made it essential for all of us to make the best use of energy and other resources. The debate is no longer about the need to act, but about which tools and strategies work best."

Keynotes and the exposition at the Green California Summit are free to registered attendees. Program details and registration are available online at http://www.green-technology.org/gcsummit.

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