Mississippi State’s EcoCAR 2 Team was recognized at the recent Governor’s Energy Summit in Jackson, MS. They won an award for excellence in Alternative Vehicle Design and were able to meet the keynote speaker, Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York.
The summit was held in the Jackson Convention Center and featured energy sector leaders from around the country. The team was recognized in front of energy officials, state and local government representatives, the business community, the academic community, public policy experts, economic development professionals and of course, Rudy Giuliani.
The main topic of the day-long event was how growing the energy sector is vital to Mississippi’s economy and educating the public on the importance of energy development. The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization, named Mississippi the number one spot for oil and gas investment. The Governor acknowledged this and wanted to provide a forum through the summit for discussions of new ideas to expand upon the opportunities Mississippi has to offer.
Karen Harbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 21st Century Energy, was part of a discussion panel at the event.
The consensus of the speakers at the event, including Giuliani, was that energy policies should be a main concern for the United States. Energy experts know that our country can be self-sufficient and believe it should be. If our country approaches the topic through common sense and awareness, successful policies can be implemented.
MSU’s team was also invited to bring the 2013 Chevy Malibu that was donated by General Motors for the competition. Unfortunately, however, yearlong rebuilding process requires constant work on the car and the team could not bring it, so they asked for help.
Carl-Hogan Automotive in Columbus, MS supported MSU’s team by allowing the use of their 2013 Malibu at the conference. Employees of the business made the two-hour trip to Jackson to lend the car as a stand-in at the conference.
The MSU team places a high priority on being a part of conferences like the Energy Summit because the team is devoted to accomplishing goals outside the EcoCAR 2 competition.
“We strive to take part in and foster discussions related to energy because it’s not necessarily an emerging issue for our world; it’s been an issue for quite a while now. Energy doesn’t have to be a societal problem, and can be transformed into a great opportunity, but it will take a great deal of effort on the part of many. And we’re ready to help in that effort,” said Kimberly Torries, MSU EcoCAR Outreach Coordinator.