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    BP America Introduces New Grant Program

    Company earmarks $500,000 for N.M. teachers to educate students about energy.

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- Global energy provider BP and New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish this week officially launched A+ for Energy, a new program to recognize instructional creativity through grants to New Mexico educators who teach students about energy and energy conservation. BP will invest up to $500,000 in grants and scholarships to New Mexico teachers working with pre-K through 12th grades.

    The A+ for Energy program was announced at a press conference Wednesday at Cleveland Middle School in Albuquerque, where the Lieutenant Governor joined BP.

    "BP's education program is helping to prepare students for the 21st Century marketplace. We need a constant conversation between the business community and education to understand the needs of the marketplace," Denish said during the event. "Without strong relationships between companies like BP and education, we will not be successful, particularly in the area of math and science."

    Grant amounts will equal $5,000 or $10,000, and will be presented directly to teachers who submit creative classroom, after-school, extra-curricular or summer activities focused on energy education and/or energy conservation.

    A+ for Energy grant applicants are encouraged to think outside the box when developing their program concepts. "BP's A+ for Energy program was developed to capture the spirit of innovation. We want to recognize those New Mexico teachers who inspire learning in their students by creating exciting and memorable experiences around the subject of energy," said Ricardo Tapia, BP vice president for New Mexico.

    "We are excited that New Mexico will be the first state in the Rockies to benefit from this program. New Mexico is the perfect energy laboratory when you consider its abundant natural resources. Whether it is oil, gas, coal or renewable energy, this state is at the forefront of revolutionary thinking on energy," Tapia added. "With New Mexico being home to two national labs, not to mention some of the most influential elected leaders on the subject of energy, (it) is poised to lead the national debate about our energy future."

    BP partners with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to support energy education in New Mexico schools by helping supply course content and curriculum that is aligned with state standards for the core subject areas of science, math and social studies throughout all grade levels. As part of its A+ for Energy program, BP also will award grant recipients with a scholarship to attend a three-day training conference conducted by the NEED Project to be held in Albuquerque in June 2007.

    Any K-12 teacher currently teaching in New Mexico public or private school is eligible to submit an application. Applications will be reviewed and selected by an independent panel comprised of New Mexico teachers, state educational and environmental non-governmental organization leaders. Winners will be announced May 21, 2007.

    BP has been active since the 1920s in New Mexico, where the company produces more than 300 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. BP operates and has wells in the Permian Basin in southeast New Mexico and the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico. The company employs more than 150 men and women in the state and contributes about $60 million per year in state and local taxes.

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