February 21, 2017

Think about it – light, heat, phone, internet, refrigerators, stoves, and automobiles.  Everyday items that provide basic needs for billions of people.  Our ability to see in the dark, communicate, work, store fresh food, eat cooked food and travel long distances all depend on energy, a vital component of our nation’s and city’s infrastructure.  Infrastructure, as defined by Merriam Webster, is the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization).  Leadership Newark, as an organization that prides itself in empowering emerging and established leaders, will be engaging the community with cutting edge conversations about 21st century energy solutions at its 3rd annual Leadership Newark Public Policy Summit (LN Summit), taking place Saturday, May 20th, 2017.

At the LN Summit, we will tackle Infrastructure holistically.   We will look at the importance of the interconnectivity of people in building a sustainable, thriving 21st Century city through a triad of infrastructure issues – and its long term effects on health and wellness; energy efficient power; and digital connectivity.  Under the energy track or as we call it at Leadership Newark, “We’re Charged Up”, we will provide an interactive and working panel that enlightens attendees on the Clean Power Plan and what it means to the average Newark resident.  This will be presented as a point-counterpoint discussion.

As recent as the Barack Obama administration, the conversation around national energy policy centered around creating new “clean energy” jobs, technology, and making the United States of America much more energy independent, and reducing carbon emissions (source: www.whitehouse.gov).  In addition, in his Clean Power Plan, former President Obama established “flexible cost-effective tools to cut carbon pollution…by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, while preventing thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks by reducing dangerous co-pollutants,” according to an archived report on his stance on Climate and Energy.  While only recently inaugurated, the current Trump administration, according to Scientific American, plans to revoke the Clean Power Plan and potentially repeal some of the rules of the Environmental Protection Agency, such as regulations around offshore drilling and methane emissions. The goal, is to weaken some of the regulations placed for the sake of developing additional energy plans.

There is some correlation to our local challenges in New Jersey’s largest city.  In the City of Newark, the community has galvanized around the issues of ensuring an environmentally safe community with programs and initiatives to help reduce toxic chemicals emerging in the city.  A critical example includes the recent collaboration between the Environmental Defense Fun, Google Earth Outreach and PSE&G to utilize a new technological tool that allows PSE&G the opportunity to reduce methane leaks from its gas distribution, which helps the state’s largest utility company which of its aging pipes should be replaced first.  This is part of a three-year program, totaling to $905 million.  At 350 years old, it is important to take a look at the aging pipes and ensuring residents of Newark, NJ live in a safe environment.

Our 3rd annual Leadership Newark Public Policy Summit, taking place Saturday, May 20th, 2017, will include key energy experts that will ensure a very substantive, intellectual, and empowering conversation that will lead us to continue making changes.  If you are a resident, work in the corporate sector, consider yourself a policy wonk, local business owner, an energy/renewable energy experts, or environmental activist, make sure you come join the conversation and help move the City of Newark forward – together!

Stay updated on the 3rd annual Leadership Newark Public Policy Summit by joining our email list at  www.leadershipnewark.org. We will continue to announce new developments on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/LeadershipNewark; Twitter and Instagram at @LeadershipNwk.  See you at the #LNSummit2017!