The heads of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and Caterpillar Inc. will spearhead an initiative that seeks to enhance US competitiveness and energy security. RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson, UWUA National President D. Michael Langford, and Caterpillare Chairman and CEO James W. Owens will co-chair the effort, launched recently by the Council on Competitiveness, a Washington-based nonpartisan group of corporate CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders. "Over the next 18 months, the Council on Competitiveness will conduct a series of high-level, expert dialogues to examine the competitiveness implications of today's energy challenges and opportunities," said council President Deborah L. Wince-Smith. "The dialogues will highlight the critical role private sector demand will play in moving the nation forward to a more secure and sustainable energy future. By creating the conditions that will foster private sector innovation and investment in more sustainable energy approaches, we can improve our economy, environment, national security and standard of living." The initiative's steering committee includes major oil company presidents, labor union leaders and members of academic and scientific organizations.