Today I’m heading down to sunny Santa Barbara for “a CEO-level view of the rapidly developing relationship between the environment and the bottom line."


The list of speakers is daunting, a veritable gaggle (murder?) of CEOs: Jeff Immelt of GE, H. Lee Scott, Jr. of Wal-Mart, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy, Patricia Woertz of ADM, and that’s just the first four on a very long list. The program is action-packed: Krupp v. Smith Jr.! Lubber v. Milloy! Yergin v. de Margerie! Obama proxy v. Clinton proxy v. McCain proxy! Sparks will fly! Or so one hopes. And by “one” I mean me.

Here are some of the more intriguing sessions, each a trim and tidy 30 minutes:

From Kyoto to Bali to Washington: Policy and Politics
After the campaign trail, and in the Oval Office, what will the next U.S. president do about global warming, energy and the environment?
Jason Grumet, Principal Energy Advisor, Obama Presidential Campaign
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Policy Director, John McCain 2008
Gene B. Sperling, Chief Economic Advisor, Hillary Clinton for President

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Carbon Caps: Whose Ox Gets Gored?
Support is growing for a mandatory cap on U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions. But there’s big debate over the details. Who stands to win and lose?
James E. Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO, Duke Energy

What’s a CEO To Do?
How green should a CEO who wants to keep his or her job get?
Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense
T.J. Rodgers, President and CEO, Cypress Semiconductor
Fred L. Smith, Jr., President, The Competitive Enterprise Institute (Also headlining "Carbon Dioxide: Is It Life?")

Shareholders: How Much Green Do They Want?
Are shareholders willing to let companies they own sacrifice profits for environmental movement? Do those two kinds of green conflict?
Mindy S. Lubber, President, Ceres and Director, Investor Network on Climate Risk
Steven J. Milloy, Managing Partner, Action Fund Management [Here’s more on Milloy and his fund.)

Oil: The End of an Era?
Oil has broken $100 a barrel. What’s next? Is the global oil supply peaking? Are alternative fuels viable? Is today’s oil market a speculator-driven bubble that’s bound to pop?
Christophe de Margerie, CEO, Total
T. Boone Pickens, Chairman, BP Capital Management
Daniel Yergin, Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA)

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California Green: Promises and Pitfalls on America’s Environmental Frontier
California has long pursued some of the most aggressive environmental rules in the world. How are they affecting the state’s economy, U.S. policy, and the planet?
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor, State of California

Sun and Wind: A Perennial Niche?
Solar and wind power are attracting more investment, but they still depend on subsidies and mandates. How big will this slice of the energy pie get? How profitable will it be?
Miles George, CEO, Babcock & Brown Wind Partners
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Chairman and CEO, Suntech Power Holdings

Ethanol: Reality or Hype?
Investment in ethanol is surging. So is debate over the government policy driving it — and so are concerns about a market glut. Is ethanol more than a bubble?
Red Cavaney, President and CEO, American Petroleum Institute
Vinod Khosla, Managing Partner, Khosla Ventures

That’s a lot! I’ll try to keep up.

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