Media Advisory: Former Gov. Ritter, Office of U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner to Host Feb. 27 Forum on National Security, America’s Energy Future


Colorado State University will host a panel discussion on “National Security and America’s Energy Future” from 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Plant Sciences Building, 307 University Ave. The event is free and open to the public; no registration is required. Free parking is available near the building.

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State, and the Office of U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner will co-host the discussion with Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, the U.K.’s Climate and Energy Security envoy, and Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (ret.), vice chair of CNA’s Military Advisory Board. Gardner will be unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. District Director Mike Bennett will serve in his place.


The forum will include a dynamic team of military experts on the relationship between national security and energy, particularly the economic and national security threats posed by the nation’s over-reliance on fossil fuels. Also under discussion will be opportunities for Colorado and the United States as a whole to further benefit from addressing these challenges through investment in clean energy, energy efficiency and fuel-efficient vehicles.

About the speakers:

Admiral Dennis McGinn (USN – ret.) served 35 years with the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. His last assignment was deputy chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs at the Pentagon, where he led the development of the U.S. Navy’s future strategic capabilities. He also commanded the U.S. Third Fleet. Admiral McGinn is vice chair of CNA’s Military Advisory Board and president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti joined the Royal Navy in 1976. After attending the Higher Command and Staff Course, in 2004 Morisetti took command of the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. In November 2005, he was promoted to rear admiral and appointed Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR), also serving as NATO High Readiness Force Maritime commander. In July 2007, he was appointed commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He became the United Kingdom’s Climate and Energy Security envoy in November 2009.

Bill Ritter, now director for CSU’s energy policy center, Center for the New Energy Economy, was Colorado’s 41st governor and pursued an aggressive agenda that included education reform, transportation funding, and health care reform. His new energy economy created thousands of new jobs and established hundreds of new companies. Ritter signed 57 clean energy bills into law and, in the process, made Colorado a national and international hub of the “new energy economy.” Colorado has established the second-highest renewable energy standard in the nation and, in his tenure as governor, Ritter established the development of a clean energy economy.

Mike Bennett joined the staff of U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner in January 2011 as district director. Bennett uses his experiences as a presidential appointee, senior congressional staffer and community banker to be Gardner’s eyes and ears in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District and supervises the congressman’s staff in Fort Collins, Greeley, Sterling and Lamar. In 2006, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to be Colorado State director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency.

Reporters interested in attending the event should call Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336.

To schedule an interview with Admirals McGinn and Morisetti during their visit, contact Carina Daniels at (510) 847-1617.