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Upcoming SIU Energy-related Events

Stay tuned! We are working on it.

View Sustainability events here:

Tech Expo Panel Discussion

2012 Tech Expo Panel Discussion: Leveraging Knowledge and Technology Resources for Sustainable Prosperity October 19, 2012, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. At Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center Video coming soon!


Energy Debate - September 8, 2012, Carbondale, IL

View the video of the entire debate on YouTube.

The Southern 9/9/12: Experts gather to discuss energy

What is better for our future, fossil fuels or alternative energy? Why are energy prices so high? How and when can we transition to clean energy? Energy industry and academia representatives will be on hand at this upcoming energy debate to address these questions and those of the audience.


Title Energy Debate: Preparing for the Future...Now!
Date Saturday, September 8, 2012
Time 6:00-8:00 p.m. - network with speakers and attendees one hour prior and after at Global Gourmet
Location Town Square Pavilion, Carbondale, Illinois
Cost to Attend Free, sponsored in part by the SIU Coal Research Center
Questions Visit the Facebook page.
Flyer Flyer (pdf)



Name (Click for Biography) Organization
Phil Gonet, President Illinois Coal Association
Brad Richards, Executive Vice President Illinois Oil and Natural Gas Association
Rob Newbold, Board Director Illinois Solar Association
Kevin Wright, President Illinois Competitive Energy Association
Sylvia Secchi, Assistant Professor SIU Agribusiness Economics; Biofuels
Dennis J. Pinigis Author: It's the Price of Oil, Stupid

Phil Gonet - Illinois Coal Association

Phil Gonet was elected President of the Illinois Coal Association (ICA) in December
2003. The ICA is the state-level trade association, based in Springfield, responsible
for the promotion of Illinois coal. The ICA represents the coal industry in the state in
governmental affairs, public relations and in related matters. The president directs the
day to day operations of the Association and reports to the Board of Directors, which sets
policies for the organization.

Before coming to the ICA, Phil directed the operations of City Water, Light and
Power, the largest municipal utility in Illinois, from 1998 to April 2003. Phil began
his professional career in 1975 as a budget analyst in the Illinois Bureau of the Budget.
During his 23 years of service in state government, Phil also held the following senior
management positions: Director, House Republican Appropriations Staff; Vice
Chancellor for Business and Finance, Illinois Board of Regents; Deputy Chief of Staff
to Governor Thompson; Executive Director, Illinois Commerce Commission; Assistant
Director, Department of Central Management Services; and Deputy Director for Program
Support, Department of Children and Family Services.

Phil earned a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Merrimack College in North
Andover, Massachusetts and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Penn State
University. He has taken classes at Illinois State University towards a doctorate in
education administration.

Phil is active in several professional and civic organizations, and presently serves on the
Board of Trustees of the Springfield YMCA. He resides in Springfield with his wife
Cathy. They have 5 grown children.

Brad Richards, Illinois Oil & Gas Association

Brad Richards has served as Executive Vice President of the Illinois Oil & Gas Association for nearly 10 years. During that time, IOGA has been engaged in numerous legislative and regulatory issues including a re-write of the Drilling Operations Act, significant revisions to regulations governing oil and gas operations, and most recently legislative efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing and impose a severance tax. Prior to joining IOGA, Richards spent 13 years in mining and geological and environmental consulting. He has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Brad and his wife Michelle reside in Fairfield, Illinois with their two teenage daughters.

Kevin Wright, Illinois Competitive Energy Association

From January 2009 to present, Kevin has served as President of the Illinois Competitive Energy Association (ICEA), an Illinois-based trade association that represents the interests of competitive energy suppliers dedicated to preserving and enhancing opportunities for customer choice and competition in the electric and natural gas industries in Illinois. ICEA member companies include some of the largest and most active alternative retail electric suppliers (ARES) and alternative gas suppliers (AGS) in Illinois. As president, Kevin represents ICEA in regulatory matters before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and he is ICEA's chief spokesperson before the Illinois General Assembly.

From September 2002 through March 2003, Kevin served as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), appointed by the Governor, and from April 2003 until February 2007, he served as an ICC Commissioner. During his tenure on the ICC, he concentrated on electricity issues and energy policy. He served as President of the Organization of MISO-States, a 14-member body of Midwestern state regulators, and was Vice Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-State Joint Board on the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 for the PJM/MISO Independent System Operator region.

Prior to his ICC appointment, he held numerous executive, legislative, and policy positions under two governors and one secretary of state.

Kevin holds a Masters in Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Dennis J. Pinigis - Moderator

Dennis J. Pinigis has a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from UCLA and has been a practicing environmental professional for the past 13 years. He also serves as a research and development officer in the United States Army Reserves.