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Dick Cheney to speak at Montana energy trade show

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Energy Exposition and Symposium this week in Billings.

The trade show will be held Wednesday and Thursday. Cheney is scheduled to speak Wednesday evening.

The previous 14 energy expositions have been held in Wyoming.

Energy consultant Kit Jennings tells the Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/1igzq28 ) that the main reason for moving the conference to Billings is because of its proximity to key energy-producing regions.

"When you look at that radius, (Billings is) perfectly positioned to be a hub, plus they have the facilities that can handle this kind of an event," said Jennings, a former Wyoming state senator from Casper.

Other featured speakers include Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance; Mark Mathis, founder of Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy and the director of the film "spOILed," a documentary about the nation's misguided energy policy; and Randall Luthi, a former Wyoming state House speaker.

Jennings said the first energy exposition, held in Gillette, was a trade show that mostly centered on coal-bed methane development. It attracted about 300 people. More than 1,000 people attended the second event.

At last year's event, 250 companies from 32 states and two provinces exhibited, and more than 4,500 people attended.

Aside from the trade show, the exposition also features continuing education courses on topics such as geology and drilling.

The trade show is free and open to the public.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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