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July 18, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SEA hosts 'Fossil-Free Energy Fair'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator at Slippery Rock University has teamed with Marcellus Outreach Butler to present the second annual Fossil-Free Energy Fair from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., July 26. The event, "Energizing for a Sustainable Future" includes a video address by environmental activist and co-founder Bill McKibben.

The free SRU exhibition, dedicated to educating the public about the economic and climate benefits of alternate forms of energy, will be staged in SRU's Advanced Technology and Science Hall. The Fossil-free Energy Fair is the premier western Pennsylvania event focused on combating climate change by changing how power is generated for homes and industry.

MCKIBBENThe climate movement organization has members in 188 countries.

Educated at Harvard, McKibben is the author of "Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist," a work that recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet.

McKibben was arrested in 2011 in Washington, D.C., after leading the largest civil disobedience event in 30 years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters saw their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold.

SRU's SEA program helps students and entrepreneurs develop and grow businesses with sustainability in mind. Marcellus Outreach Butler is a non-profit group dedicated to creating awareness about the health and safety perils of unconventional natural gas development. Founded in 2010, MOB strives to provide a strong, credible voice that aids in protecting communities by preserving clean air and water.

Free hot dogs, cooked with solar-generated power, will be a special feature.

Robert Hinds, SRU professor emeritus of environmental geosciences, will deliver the keynote address at noon. His address is titled "The Legacy of Fossil Fuels."

Other presentations throughout the day include:

•John Golden, SRU School of Business instructor and managing director of SEA, will address business opportunities available through SEA and how to make use of its programs at 1 p.m.

•"SEA Clients and SEA Projects" will be presented by members of the SEA team, at 3 p.m.;

•Valentin Kefeli, an adviser to the Slippery Rock Watershed and former SRU and Robert Morris University faculty member, will host a roundtable presentation focused on solar energy transformation via photosynthesis of trees, butanol production and solar house plant grown under the theme "Photosynthesis and Bio-Fuel" at 2 p.m.;

•Rhett Major, best known in the Westmoreland County and Pittsburgh areas as "The Energy Doctor," will offer "Think Efficiency First" at 1 and 3 p.m.;

•Greg Winks, treasurer for SUNWPA and a clean energy consultant with Clean Energy Resources, will discuss current markets for solar energy at 2 and 4 p.m.;

•Patricia DeMarco, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University and former executive director of the Rachel Carson Homestead, will present "Getting to a Fossil-free Economy: Why Must We Act? How Do We Take the Next Steps What Can We Do Now" at 1 and 3 p.m.;

•Randy Francisco, western Pennsylvania's senior organizing representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Team, will offer "Fighting Climate Chaos with Clean Energy" at 2 and 4 p.m.;

•Ron Rademacher, mediator and EASE Envoy for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sustainability docent for the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and Adam Haas, an interpretive specialist at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, will offer "Power Connection to Nature," including discussion of the garden's net-zero energy Center for Sustainable Landscape, at 1 and 3 p.m.; and

•Joy Hughes, founder of the Solar Gardens Institute, has planned an "Introduction to Solar Gardens" lecture for 2 and 4 p.m. The address includes information about ways for everyone to own solar panels.

The Jennings Environmental Education Center, a Pennsylvania state park dedicated to providing environmental education and interpretation to the community, will offer 45-minute children's activities, with those age 8 and older invited to participate in "Fun with the Sun" at 1 and 3 p.m., and Blowin' in the Wind" projects at 2 and 4 p.m.

The exhibition will also offer video presentations, including "Reinventing Fire," created by the Rocky Mountain Institute, at 1 p.m. and live music will be provided by Sam Giannetti from 11 a.m. to noon and by T. Mitchell Bell from 5-7 p.m., outside the hall.

The fair will provide opportunities to talk with solar installers, energy choice suppliers, electric car enthusiasts and other related products and services, which will have booths at the event.

An open forum hosted by Sustainable Slippery Rock is at 4 p.m.

Lou Hancherick, a retired area businessman, is the event coordinator.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.