The U.S. departments of ag and energy plan to co-host a national renewable energy conference to help create "partnerships and strategies necessary to accelerate commercialization of renewable energy industries and distribution systems." In announcing the Oct. 10-12 conference, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said, "Never has reducing our dependence on foreign oil been such a pressing issue. We have the will and the means to replace significant quantities of foreign oil with homegrown fuel. We're hopeful this conference will identify major impediments and critical pathways to get more domestically grown, renewable energy sources out of the laboratory and into consumers' hands as soon as possible."

Entitled "Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance," the conference is set for St. Louis.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspo