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Dick Cheney

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be keynote speaker at the 15th annual Energy Exposition and Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday at MetraPark’s ExpoCenter. 

The previous 14 energy expositions have been in Wyoming.

The conference was moved to Billings mainly because of its proximity to key energy-producing regions, said Kit Jennings, an energy consultant and former Wyoming state senator from Casper. 

“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,” he said.

Other featured speakers include Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance; and Mark Mathis, founder of Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy and the director of the film “spOILed,” a documentary about they nation's misguided energy policy.

Jennings said the first energy exposition, held in Gillette, was a trade show that mostly centered on coalbed 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 opportunities.

The Petroleum Institute for Continuing Education will offer short courses on energy from shale, an introduction to geology for non-geologists, and courses on drilling and the upstream petroleum industry.

As part of the event, the Society of Petroleum Engineers will host a golf tournament at Lake Hills Golf Course. The tournament will benefit the Wise Wonders children’s museum.

The trade show is free.

For more information on the event, visit

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Managing editor at The Billings Gazette.