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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Taft College will be the center of oil and energy in October at the West Kern Petroleum Summit, a one-day event to discuss current and new petroleum and natural gas technology.
The Taft College Foundation will host the Oct. 18 summit with the help of a Chevron Economic Development Initiative Grant and other sponsors.
"We've had a lot of help and support from our local industry. Oil for sure, but also banking and waste management," foundation Executive Director Sheri Horn-Bunk said of support for the college in general Tuesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
The summit is roughly modeled after the Bakersfield Business Conference, Horn-Bunk said, and will take place under an air-conditioned tent at the college, 29 Emmons Park Drive.
There are more than 17 sponsors so far, and with 300 seats available, half are already sold.
Highlights of the summit include speakers:
* John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Co., author of "Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider," and founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy;
* Ann McElhinney, a journalist and director and producer of "FrackNation," a documentary on hydraulic fracturing;
* Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, speaking on energy policy.
Horn-Bunk noted the college wants to train people for technical work in the industry, and partner with oil companies to help their workers. The college's enrollment is growing, and students are attracted by small classes, she said.
"There is a whole energy sector which is exploding," Californian President and CEO Richard Beene said during the simulcast.
Individual tickets for the summit are $60. VIP sponsorship is $2,500 for a table with seating for eight. To register and for more information, call 763-7936.