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Former President George W. Bush to appear at Pittsburgh gas conference

AP
In this Sept. 2, 2004, file photo, President George W. Bush speaks to the delegates at the Republican National Convention in New York. AP Photo

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By Timothy Puko
Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 12:06 p.m.
 

Former President George W. Bush will visit Pittsburgh this fall to speak at a gas industry conference, organizers said.

Bush's representatives could not be reached on Monday to confirm the planned appearance.

His luncheon speech would be a rare appearance from the country's 43rd president. He last drew news coverage in November for speaking to investors in the Cayman Islands, where organizers blocked journalists from attending.

His speech in Pittsburgh would take place during the DUG East energy conference for unconventional gas drillers, scheduled for Nov. 13-15 in Downtown, said Hart Energy, the conference organizers, in an email.

A Hart spokeswoman said she could not confirm nor deny Bush's visit.

Bush spent his early career starting and running oil exploration companies in Texas, according to news biographies. After about 12 years in the industry, his company failed and relatives and family friends bailed it out, according to a biography from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

This fall's DUG East will be the fifth that Hart has held in Pittsburgh. Many of those conferences featured big-name speakers and anti-drilling protests.

Former Bush adviser and GOP strategist Karl Rove spoke at the second conference in 2010. That drew protest from industry opponents outside, but Rove's speech to about 2,300 people received a standing ovation.

Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or tpuko@tribweb.com.

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