Upcoming conference billed as ‘premier Colorado mining event’

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Dr. Frank Clemente, a renowned coal expert, will address the opening session of the Colorado Mining Association’s 114th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition on March 20 at the Westin Tabor Center in Denver, according to a CMA news release.

A professor emeritus of social science and environmental policy at Penn State University, Clemente is “one of the leading experts on the socioeconomic impact of energy policy, especially on families, minorities, businesses and communities,” the CMA reported.

He has published more than 100 articles in energy-related media and his social science publications have appeared in journals such as Urban Studies and The Journal of Black Studies. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

“Clemente has lectured frequently on the importance of affordable electricity and its ability to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living throughout the world,” the CMA wrote in the release. “The title of his address is ‘The value of coal: To Colorado, the United States and the World.’

“Clemente authored a ground-breaking study that focused on the importance of coal to Colorado. Among other things, that study concluded that coal mining accounted for (more than) 20,000 jobs in Colorado’s economy and more than $20 billion in economic value to the state.”

The professor’s studies have also focused on how rising energy costs through more expensive energy sources than coal “fall disproportionately on the poor and minority groups,” the CMA reported.

Clemente is an Indiana University graduate and has a doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He is a senior member of the graduate faculty at Penn State and is a former director of the university’s Environmental Policy Center. The senior class of 2007 at PSU voted him best professor at the school.

He joins a panel of experts from within the industry, academic settings and government at the conference, billed by the CMA as the “premier Colorado mining event of the year.”

Other presenters are Randy Scott, chief executive officer of Rare Element Resources, Inc., who will discuss how the U.S. can overcome its dependence on China in strategic metal used in everything from wind towers to military aircraft, and Dr. M.W. “Bill” Scoggins, president of the Colorado School of Mines.

The theme of the event is “Colorado: The Mile High Mining Hub.”

In the release, Scoggins underscored Colorado’s role as a leader in mining and the importance of the existing educational infrastructure in meeting the industry’s future needs.

“Colorado continues to benefit from and build on the long-standing contribution from the mining industry, as well as being at the center of the hub of a rapidly expanding global industry,” he said in the release. “Key to realizing its future economic potential is the education of that future engineering workforce that can address mining issues with leading edge technology and sustainable practices.”

The Colorado Mining Association is an industry association founded in 1876, and has more than 950 members, including 183 companies, engaged in mineral development throughout the state, the West, and the globe.

A complete copy of the program and registration information is available online at www.coloradomining.org.

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