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South Dakota’s First Ever Clean Energy Fair Creates “Big Tent”

September 5, 2007

Sioux Falls, SD – South Dakota's first ever "Clean Energy Festival" brings lawmakers, conservationists, scientists, environmental organizations, and social justice groups together in Sioux Falls today to promote environmentally friendly energy alternatives. Organizer Deb McIntyre says the one-day event is an opportunity to celebrate the nation’s vast alternative energy resources. She believes sound energy decisions should be made now to protect the environment and keep costs from rising.

"Solar energy, wind energy, bio-diesel, and ethanol should all be evaluated. Now is a great time to be looking at what sources we're using today for the kind of energy that is sustainable and good for the environment."

McIntyre says today's festival will feature "Rolling Sunlight," which is a 26-foot demonstration and educational truck traveling across the nation to promote clean energy. She explains the vehicle is equipped with solar panels that demonstrate new technologies.

"The truck has a storage system so that the energy that is collected from the solar panels on this truck will run the sound equipment. And the truck is actually powered by bio-diesel. So, the solar panels are actually an education tool and are showing people what’s new in technology and what's new in terms of storage for energy."

McIntyre is convinced that South Dakota residents take energy conservation seriously, and says the Clean Air Festival is an opportunity for them to make a greater commitment to energy conservation and sustainable energy use.

"South Dakota is not a wasteful state. We take good care of our resources. So, the bigger picture of this event is that we should broaden it out. Let's take it into the 21st century and look at these renewable, sustainable resources as a long-term solution."

The festival will be held at Campus Park. It begins at 6:00 PM. Among the groups participating in the event are the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center, East River Group Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Clean Water action.

David Law/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - SD