Greater Houston Partnership Announces Date for America's Energy Future: Houston's Presidential Summit -- Recent polls show most Americans believe energy-related issues are the most critical facing our country today. Voters on Feb. 28, 2008, will hear the candidates' stances on energy during this nationally televised event in Houston.

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The Greater Houston Partnership, after consulting top tier presidential campaigns, announces it will hold "America's Energy Future: Houston's Presidential Summit" on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008.

The 2008 presidential campaign is off to an earlier start than any in our nation's history

    The new date comes just five days before the Texas primary, making it attractive to candidates who already plan to be in the state campaigning during that time. The event was initially planned for mid-November 2007, but was rescheduled after the primary season was pushed up historically early and the candidates found an urgent need to be campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa.

"The 2008 presidential campaign is off to an earlier start than any in our nation's history," said Jeff Moseley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership. "The new date allows us to be sensitive to the candidates' needs and their schedules."

With oil prices approaching $100 per barrel and hitting historical highs every day, a recent CNN poll said 67 percent of Americans believe gas prices are the most important economic issue facing our country today. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heating oil prices will jump 22 percent and natural gas prices will increase by 10 percent this winter.

"Our nation needs to address these issues now, while there is still time to avoid an energy crisis," Moseley said. "As everyone's pocket books get hit by high bills from increasing energy prices, we look forward to an in depth discussion about the candidates' energy policies to help America achieve a real energy future."

The end of February may arguably be the most crucial time for the presidential candidates and their campaigns. Texas is rich with delegates for both parties and will play a large role in determining the nominees. The presidential summit will promote a meaningful dialogue for Texans and the nation prior to Texas' March 4, 2008, primaries.

NBC News and its cable network, MSNBC, remain the broadcast partners for "America's Energy Future: Houston's Presidential Summit." Tim Russert will serve as moderator and portions of the event will be broadcast live. In addition, the presidential summit will be just a part of a daylong event featuring an energy issues exhibition, energy issues symposium, and a luncheon with an internationally recognized keynote speaker.

Confirmed speakers include:

-- Bill White, mayor City of Houston

-- John Hofmeister, president Shell Oil

-- Greg Boyce, president & CEO Peabody Energy

-- David Crane, president & CEO NRG Energy

-- Ali Moshiri, president, Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration & Production

-- Buddy Kleemeier, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association

-- Robert C. Kelly, founding partner, DKRW Energy LLC

Additional information on the Summit, as well as sponsorship and ticket opportunities can be found at http://www.houstonspresidentialsummit.com.

The Greater Houston Partnership is a 501(c)(6) organization that is the primary advocate of the Houston-area business community and is dedicated to building regional economic prosperity. It represents 10 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Waller. With more than 2,000 member organizations, the Partnership represents approximately one fourth of the region's workforce. It is hosting Houston's Presidential Summit(SM) to inform and educate the general public on the critical role of energy to the economic prosperity and security of the United States. The Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston's Presidential Summit(SM) do not endorse, support or oppose any candidate for President. Visit the Greater Houston Partnership at http://www.houston.org.

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Micah Hirschfield
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