Club 20 agenda: energy, education

Club 20’s spring meeting this weekend will focus on education and energy — and function for a bit as the middle-sized hadron collider of Colorado politics.

Gov. Bill Ritter has yet to decide whether he’ll deliver the keynote speech to the Western Slope lobbying and promotional organization, which has been both a critic on his energy stances and backstop for him on issues such as health care.

“We don’t know” whether the governor will appear for the Saturday keynote address, Club 20 Executive Director Reeves Brown said Monday.

Brown does know that one of the candidates for Ritter’s job, former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, a Republican, of Grand Junction, won’t be there.

McInnis has commitments at several GOP county assemblies and can’t make the Club 20 meeting, campaign spokesman Sean Duffy said.

The new state director for the Bureau of Land Management, Helen Hankins, will open the meeting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Another topic will be the future of education, including whether Colorado should go after what is believed to be $170 million available from the Race to the Top contest for federal dollars, Brown said.

Colorado finished out of the running, and Jo O’Brien, deputy commissioner of education for Colorado, will discuss what the state should do, if anything, to obtain more federal money.

Travis Gasper of Executives Partnering to Invest in Children, and Tim Taylor of Colorado Succeeds, also will discuss education.

James Garland, former president of Miami University in Ohio, will discuss sustainable funding for higher education.

An executive for the Bill Barret Co. has been invited to discuss plans for drilling natural gas from the Roan Plateau.

“Just how safe is that nuclear energy thing” is to be discussed by Dave Nulton of the Pinon Ridge uranium mill and Steve Antony, the new president of Energy Fuels Corp., which is working to build the mill.

Several candidates will speak to the organization in sessions beginning at 2:15 p.m.

Two of the Republicans running for the U.S. Senate, Ken Buck and Tom Wiens, will open the forums, followed by Republicans Scott Tipton and Bob McConnell, who are seeking the party’s nomination for the 3rd Congressional District.

Evergreen Republican Dan Maes, McInnis’ Republican opponent, will speak at the end.

Attendance at the forums is open to the public at $10 per person per forum.

The full agenda is available at http://www.Club20.org.


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