Chase on Smart Energy

Dave Chase's observations of developments and opportunities in the emerging Smart Energy field.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Politics makes strange bedfellows

I'm starting to see a trend of those historically on opposite ends of the political spectrum finding common ground surrounding clean energy that I highlighted in this article...
  • In Oregon, a far left and far right legislator team up on biofuels legislation.
  • The Economist reports in their "Rethinking the Axis of Oil" article about the growing alliance between defense hawks with enviro greens to completely rethink America’s energy strategy which will force the White House to play catch-up.
  • "Set America Free" group combines noted liberals & conservatives with their recently published "blueprint" for Energy Security.
  • Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) are teaming up to get loan guarantees for the world’s first commercial scale cellulose ethanol (this process uses farm waste such as wheat straw) plant to be built in Idaho.
One of the reasons I've thrown my support behind the non-profit Climate Solutions is they have been effective at finding bi-partisan common ground (e.g., with the Harvesting Clean Energy program) to provide economic development support supporting clean energy based businesses. For example last week, I spent a day with Climate Solutions' Executive Director (Rhys Roth) and many of the leaders in Idaho's Republican delegation exposing them to what Climate Solutions is working on. Even though some don't necessarily believe in climate change, they don't have to in order to see the economic development opportunities. We all left the meetings excited about the opportunity to collaborate. For example, the so-called Smart Energy field is already a $2B business in the Northwest (collective annual revenues) and poised to rapidly grow. Read the whitepaper Poised for Profit II - Prospects for the Smart Energy Sector in the Northwest for more details.


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