The global demand for energy continues to increase, creating supply challenges for growing populations, questions for the future of transportation and growing awareness of the environmental impact. Gearing up for its third year, the Vail Global Energy Forum (VGEF) brings leaders in the energy industry together for an in-depth conversation on how to best provide the energy necessary to support a productive global economy in an increasingly green, secure and affordable manner. The event will be held March 1-2 in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Attendees of the VGEF can expect to hear analysis of our global energy future from such distinguished speakers as John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado; Arun Majumdar, vice president, Google Inc. (NasdaqGS: GOOG); George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of the Treasury; Jim Brown, president, Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL); and Doug Suttles, CEO, Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA).

“What makes the Vail Global Energy Forum so appealing is that it brings together leading experts from diverse professions including industry, banking, venture
capital, research, government, environment and media,” says Jay Precourt, founder of the VGEF. “Our world is so interconnected that energy is not a stand-alone issue. It affects people across the globe and from every walk of life.”

In the U.S., for instance, the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracing” boom has pushed U.S. oil output to a 25-year high. This news is great for some – burning gas instead of coal means lower CO2 emissions. It brings jobs and boosts the economy. However, to tap into U.S. shale reserves, the controversial process of fracing is required. Some communities are concerned about water contamination and long-term environmental impacts of fracing.

Meanwhile, China’s booming market and equally large environmental footprint has been a focus in the global race for cleaner energy. Offset by high pollution, a growing urban middle class and large financial growth, China has set the mark high to change its standard for energy efficiency. China is contemplating a tax on carbon emissions and a tax on coal mining, and curtailing its reliance on coal-fired power plants to reduce pollution.

Despite being a world apart, the energy debate in the U.S. and the energy debate in China have much in common. Both countries are worried about the environmental impacts of increased consumption, while trying to supply enough energy to meet demand. The VGEF strives to foster a greater understanding of how the challenges these nations face intersect.

In fact, one of the most anticipated panel discussions at the VGEF is Rising Power: How China is Shaping The Global Race for Cleaner Energy. The panel will be moderated by Jeffrey Ball of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and former environmental editor for the Wall Street Journal. Panelists include Cynthia Wang, managing director of the China International Capital Corp. and Jiang Lin, chairman of the China Sustainable Energy Program.

“Any intellectually honest conversation about energy is going to touch on emissions and the environmental impact,” Precourt says. “VGEF gets that and it’s why the event reaches beyond oil and gas to focus on new technology and sustainability.”

The transportation sector has, in many ways, been leading the way to reduce emissions with new technology. Electric-powered cars and natural gas-fueled buses are prime examples of this trend. The VGEF is featuring Dennis Beal, Fed Ex Express vice president of global vehicles and Dennis Slagle, executive vice president, group trucks sales and marketing for Americas, AB Volvo (OTC: VOLVY).

In addition to its robust agenda of speakers and topics, forum attendees get to enjoy networking opportunities with C-level executives and great skiing in Beaver Creek. Other featured activities include a “First Light, First Tracks” chance to hit the slopes before the lifts officially open to the general public, a private snowshoe tour, a networking breakfast on the mountain, the VGEF Energy Village featuring regional and national exhibitors and intimate Dine Around Dinners in Beaver Creek.

To register for the event, click here. The Signature Package is $200 and gives attendees main level General Admission seating to all VGEF events plus networking events. The Synergy Package is $500 which includes main level General Admission seating, networking events, plus First Light, First Tracks downhill skiing or snowshoe followed by on-mountain breakfast.