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Oct. 6 energy debate to feature presidential campaign reps

The economy may be dominating the headlines right now, but anyone concerned about the long-term view will have a chance next week to find out what the two presidential candidates would do about one of the major issues of our time, one that has a significant impact on the world economy: energy.

Representatives selected by the McCain and Obama campaigns will face off next Monday, Oct. 6, in Kresge Auditorium for a debate on energy, moderated by NPR's Tom Ashbrook, host of the daily talk show "On Point." The debate, co-sponsored by the student-run MIT Energy Club and the MIT Energy Initiative, will start at 7:30 p.m. and last for 90 minutes. Questions will be asked by a panel of journalists, still being finalized, as well as by some MIT students, who were invited to send in their questions in advance.

McCain will be represented by James Woolsey, who was director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Clinton and has served in four different administrations, both Democratic and Republican. Obama will be represented by Jason Grumet, executive director of the bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy and former director of Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management.

"We decided the MIT Energy Club needed to fill a void that was sorely lacking in any other outlet," says MIT Energy Club Co-President Amy Fazen. "It goes without saying that members of the Energy Club are very interested in the energy platforms of the candidates, but we knew that there was something much bigger going on when club members were telling us that their family and friends with no particular interest in energy kept asking them about the energy platforms of the candidates."

Fazen adds, "Along with MITEI, we decided we would try to get high-ranking representatives of the campaigns to come to campus and educate not only our members, but the Cambridge/Boston community at large about this extremely important topic."

The debate is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Fazen at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 1, 2008 (download PDF).

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