WASHINGTON, March 18, 2010 – The U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Navy are co-hosting an all day forum in Hawaii on April 6, 2010, to share information about a recently announced collaborative energy opportunity. Among those providing remarks are Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen A. Merrigan and Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for installations and environment. The program is taking place on the Marine Corps Base-Hawaii in the Kaneohe Bay Officers Club.

Earlier this year, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support President Obama’s initiative to reduce energy consumption derived from fossil fuels and increase energy production from renewable energy sources. This energy initiative in Hawaii is a direct result of that MOU.

Hawaii has been selected as the location for the initial collaboration between USDA and the Navy because Hawaii’s energy costs are among the highest in the nation and imported oil supplies 90 percent of the State’s energy. A viable agricultural sector in Hawaii can enhance Hawaii’s energy security, and energy projects like those anticipated by the Navy’s needs can help rural economies.

Individuals interested in attending are required to register early as seating is limited and arrangements must be made to access the military base. Please note, companies and organizations are limited to sending three representatives. To register go to: Registrations will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. (HST) (10 p.m. EST) March 26, 2010.

Members of the media wishing to attend are asked to contact Grace Hew Len, Navy Region HI, Environmental Public Affairs Officer at 808-473-2926 or email


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Release No. 0138.10

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