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Performing Arts and Speaker Series

Michael Ott

testTime: January 31, 2007, 7:30pm

Location: Student Union and Recreation Center

TICKETS: Reserved Seats $15; General Admission $7; Students with I.D. Free

As worldwide energy consumption continues to skyrocket, new sources of energy need to be tapped. Agricultural resources can quench some of this demand, especially as new cellulosic ethanol technologies become available.

Michael Ott is the executive director of BIOWA, a trade association for bio-based products with a focus on alternative fuels. BIOWA creates partnerships to help ethanol and bio-diesel plants create more products more efficiently. Ethanol and bio-diesel can be made from nearly any crop, but only a few are economically viable. These synergistic clusters of bio-based industries produce chemicals, fuels, power, products and materials. As bio-based products become cost-competitive with their oil-based counterparts, social and environmental benefits emerge. This triple-bottom-line focus creates businesses that are sustainable for the long term. Ott's talk will cover the ramifications of making fuel from corn, soybeans, switchgrass, and other feedstocks as well as highlight future employment opportunities for current students.

The world is in the early stages of a global energy crisis as it transitions from an oil-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. Bio-fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel will make this transition easier. Because these fuels are produced domestically, it means that the U.S. economy will strengthen dramatically as more permanent local jobs are created. Assembling a diverse group of stakeholders is necessary to enact the dramatic changes required to address our surging energy needs. BIOWA's membership includes biotechnology companies, commodity manufacturers, educational institutions, farmers and investment bankers. Ott's varied background including a master's degree in bio-inorganic chemistry from the University of Iowa and work mostly in the financial world, from hedge funds to private equity makes him well-suited to create these partnerships.

Ott will be the featured keynote speaker at Central's first renewable energy symposium, entitled "Promises & Challenges". The day long symposium will be held in the Student Union and Recreation Building. From 9:30 a.m. - 12:00pm tours of renewable energy projects will be available including Puget Sound Energy's Wild Horse Wind Power Project, Central Washington Biodiesel, LLC, CWU Industrial and Engineering Technology's working fuel cell, and the City of Ellensburg's new Community Solar Project. Interested individuals should meet on the first floor of the Student Union Building. From 1:30pm to 3:00pm in the Student Union Theatre, Ott will moderate an alternative energy forum with panelists Kristin Eby from the Office of Senator Maria Cantwell, Tony Usibelli from Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED), Dana Peck from Horizon Wind Energy, and Karen Bicchieri and Roger Beardsley from CWU Industrial and Engineering Technology. The tours and panel discussion is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Jim Armstrong at 509-963-2752 or go to

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