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Energy forum held at Cameron

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LAWTON, Okla. - An energy forum aimed at reaching the new energy frontier drew a panel of experts to Cameron University Thursday.

The speakers agreed that new, stricter environmental standards would likely lead to alternative energy sources, such as wind power.  The panel said it is important that energy leaders recognize the need to get legislative help in developing those new sources.

The representatives say they met because they want to find out how they can help each other.  The Director of Development at Chesapeake Energy says she specifically found out how natural gas and wind can work side by side and supplement each other.

The windmills currently contribute to about 2% of the power that Oklahoma Gas and Electric distributes to its customers.

"There are numbers thrown around.  We'd like to get it up to be 20%, but the question is, ‘Is that achievable?'," said Cameron History Professor Doug Catteral.

"There is a lot of discussion of where the wind does blow a lot of putting dual site wind farms alongside natural gas facilities.  So you can flip the switch on a gas plant and it can ramp up quickly," said Jamie Maddy, of Chesapeake Energy.

Maddy says learning more about how energy companies can supplement each other was just one point from the hour-long discussion.  She says the forum also helps the companies realize they are reaching for the same goal.

"If we can go to our members of congress and say this is what we agree on, we are the mind and the experts in these areas.  Let us help you develop energy policy that makes sense to everybody at this table," said Maddy.

They then would communicate that policy to landowners whose land they need to develop.

"Landowners want to protect their property.  If we're gonna develop people's property, all resources need to be respectful of property and peoples' rights to develop as they wish," said Maddy.

Maddy says she is excited about the future of natural gas and that Oklahoma's production of it trails only Texas and Wyoming.  She also added that Chesapeake is looking into a possible partnership with another company to help them build a natural gas fueling station in Lawton.

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