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 CO 2 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