by Lauren McLemore

Arkansas Money and Politics

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association’s eighth-annual Empowering Arkansas conference is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heifer International in Little Rock.

AAEA advocates at the federal, state and regulatory levels on behalf of its members for legislation that supports energy supply that is more secure, clean and affordable. The organization works to expand utilization of a number of alternate energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and nuclear energy, as well as electric vehicles, alternative fuels, natural gas electric generation and smart grid.

The event represents an opportunity for the public to interact with advanced energy business leaders, utility executives, policy makers and regulators, and other industry stakeholders to learn, network, examine and discuss the most prominent energy policy issues facing the state of Arkansas.

“This is the association’s most popular event and really a must-attend industry gathering, which, traditionally, has welcomed advanced energy business leaders, utility executives, policy makers and regulators and other stakeholders that are participating in the advanced energy economy in the state, and we’ll spend the day highlighting some of the critical policy issues that are facing our state today,” AAEA Executive Director Katie Niebaum says.

The event will feature multiple speakers including stakeholders and business leaders from sponsor companies.

“Each year the association works hard to identify dynamic speakers to share their expertise on energy policy issues and their perspective on Arkansas’ rapidly expanding advanced energy marketplace,” Niebaum says.

The luncheon keynote speaker will be Karl R. Rábago, senior policy advisor for Pace Energy and Climate Center. Ted Thomas, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, will address the morning session.

Rábago is the former Commissioner of the Texas Public Utility Commission, and since 2016 has worked with AAEA in matters before the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

Other speakers include Senator Dave Wallace, who sponsored the Solar Access Act, which was passed during the 2019 legislative session, and Becky Keogh, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment.

The event is open to the public. For more information, click here.