Energy Jobs, Oil Spill Report and Ritter's Legacy - 1.9.11
[McGINNIS] The president predicts more than 800,000 new clean energy jobs created in the U.S. by the end of the year, but is it possible, and at what cost?
[DAVID KREUTZER, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION] You can create jobs in a particular industry with heavy enough subsidies, but it's at the expense of jobs elsewhere.
[McGINNIS] And, creating clean energy jobs was a hallmark of his administration. "energyNOW!" talks with Colorado Governor Bill Ritter as he gets ready to leave office.
[RITTER] I think of energy as among the most important issues that we have as a world. I mean, this isn't just for me as a citizen of Colorado, as the governor of Colorado; this is about as a nation.
[McGINNIS] And the president's oil spill commission issues a scathing report on the Gulf oil spill, blaming managers for ignoring warning signs, and saying it could happen again. I'll talk with two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the report -- Republican Joe Barton and Democrat Jay Inslee. This is "energyNOW!"
Hello, I'm Susan McGinnis. Welcome to "energyNOW!", a weekly look at America's energy challenges and what we're doing about them. Now that the 112th Congress is in session, you can expect to hear a lot about finding ways to create new jobs to drive the economy, but what kind of jobs and how do we do it? President Obama predicted that the U.S. will have 800,000 new jobs in clean energy by the end of this year. Can that be done, and if so, at what cost? "energyNOW!" Chief Correspondent Tyler Suiters met with people staking their claims on the clean energy frontier to find answers, in this "energyNOW!" spotlight.
[SUITERS] Climbing the career ladder landed Justin Cox in an unexpected place. The California native manages crews that install home solar systems. His current job can be a bit treacherous sometimes, but the risk here, it doesn't compare to his old job. Before joining the solar sector, Justin Cox spent five years in the U.S. Army. He served two tours of combat duty in Iraq and survived countless firefights.
[COX] I'm a person who likes to make a difference. That's why I joined the Army, to try to make a difference.
[SUITERS] His final battle sent him back home with a traumatic brain injury, a Purple Heart, and serious doubts about what to do next.
[COX] You're going from a steady job, where you essentially can't get fired unless you try to, to now you're in the open market. No one has your back.
[SUITERS] But someone did have his back. Cox got career counseling from a U.S. Army program. And then his brother-in-law steered him into the solar sector, a job in clean energy.
[COX] This is a way to make a difference; this is a way to essentially slow down global warming, slow down the hole in the ozone layer.
[SUITERS] And this, the clean energy sector, the president says this is a way to put Americans back to work.
[PRESIDENT OBAMA] The transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs.
That not only means more jobs, but it also means we're going to be less dependent on foreign oil.
We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012.
[SUITERS] 800,000 new jobs by the end of the year. But is the president's prediction even possible? Robert Pollin co-authored a report on clean energy employment.
[POLLIN] Oh, absolutely feasible. I mean, it depends on how hard you want to try to get there.
[SUITERS] But to get there, to create substantial jobs in, say, solar panel manufacturing or electric vehicle production, we'd need to make a major commitment to clean energy.
[DAVID KREUTZER, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION] We know, in general, that jobs will grow where you're producing something that consumers are willing to buy.
[SUITERS] As for what we're buying, last year, the U.S. generated almost 3/4 of its electricity by burning two fossil fuels -- coal and natural gas. The new clean energy sectors -- wind and solar -- last year they generated only about 3% of our electricity. And a Heritage Foundation report says that 3% came at a significant federal price. The government paid $23 in subsidies for every megawatt hour of electricity generated by wind or solar -- $23. Compare that to coal, which got 44 cents in subsidies per megawatt hour, or natural gas at just 25 cents per megawatt hour.
[KREUTZER] You can create jobs in a particular industry with heavy enough subsidies, but it's at the expense of jobs elsewhere.
[SUITERS] And you have to spend to create jobs. The president's prediction is predicated on getting the legislation, the funding, that he wants. But the new Congress, well, let's just say it looks like the majority of lawmakers are not in the mood to spend.
[REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE], It's pretty clear the American people want us to do something about cutting spending here in Washington.
[BRACKEN HENDRICKS, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS] We have to do it. The fate of the planet is at stake here. The fate of the economy is at stake here.
[COX] I really didn't know anything about installing solar when I first started.
[SUITERS] No, but he learned, thanks to the skills he honed in the Army -- discipline, endurance, adaptability.
[COX] You got to get out there, you got to find a job, and you got to make yourself essentially marketable.
[SUITERS] And that adaptation, that's a key to clean energy job growth, according to Hendricks. So instead of managing something like a construction crew, Cox manages solar installation crews. Instead of rewiring homes, green electricians can wire up solar panel arrays.
[HENDRICKS] But this isn't some sort of jet-pack, space-age new wave of jobs. It's traditional stuff that we know how to do well.
[KREUTZER] A welder working on a locomotive diesel engine will be having the same skill set, be doing the same sorts of things that he may do if he's welding together components for a wind turbine.
[SUITERS] If we want those jobs, we have to create them, and Pollin tells me there are two steps -- the first...
[POLLIN] Part of the story about energy efficiency is shifting from petroleum to cleaner sources of energy.
[SUITERS] The second step -- the transition itself. Pollin says just using more clean energy won't create jobs, but converting from coal and oil to clean energy -- out with the old, in with the new -- that transition will create jobs, for a while.
[POLLIN] Imagine a totally solar and wind economy. Just imagine it. There's no new jobs. The maintenance of one versus the other does not create new jobs. It's the transition that will create jobs for a generation.
[COX] Every week, we're pushing to get designs done.
[SUITERS] Back on top of California, Cox has a different perspective on President Obama's goal, on why a clean energy conversion is so crucial.
[COX] We're installing a lot of solar in homes, and every home counts, every home makes a difference.
[SUITERS] But counting clean energy jobs and proving whether the president can deliver on his prediction -- the difference may depend entirely on who does the counting.
[McGINNIS] And Tyler joins us now. Tyler, part of the problem in counting green jobs is defining what a green job is.
[SUITERS] Right, so I asked the White House just what the president means by "clean energy jobs." And Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton tells me that prediction "does not include nuclear and hydro(-electric energy). But we do consider non-Recovery Act efforts to promote these types of energy as contributing to clean energy job creation." So, Susan, even the White House itself has different ways of defining just what a green job is.
[McGINNIS] Okay, but this 800,000 green jobs number, is that even in the ballpark now with the new Congress?
[SUITERS] Probably not. The clean energy legislation the president really wanted to create these jobs failed last year, so his best options right now are either passing smaller bills -- job-related pieces of clean energy policy -- or pushing clean energy through regulation, bypassing Congress, but that, in turn, Susan, means the president has to take his chances in court.
[McGINNIS] Tyler, thank you.
Now let's get you plugged in to the top energy news. The presidential panel investigating the Gulf oil spill says it could happen again. Part of its report on the spill is out and it's placing blame squarely on management at BP, on Halliburton, and on Transocean. The report says they ignored critical warning signs and failed to take precautions that might have delayed the completion of the well but also might have averted the disaster. Commission co-chairman William Reilly says the management failures point to a more pervasive problem within the oil industry. We'll get reaction to the report a little later from two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Shell may have to put plans to start exploratory oil drilling off the coast of Alaska on hold. The EPA granted Shell permits to drill exploration wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, but Alaska Native and conservation groups say that Shell's drilling would emit tons of pollutants from a drill ship and support vessels. And now the Federal Environmental Appeals Board says the EPA made legal mistakes when it applied air quality standards to the ships, and remanded the permits. Shell says it's working with the EPA to revive the permits.
Well, some people living in Marin County, California, think "smart meters" are a pretty dumb idea, and they've been protesting, trying to block Pacific Gas & Electric contractors from installing the meters in homes.
[MAN] If you don't step out of the roadway, ma'am, I'm going to arrest you.
[WOMAN] Then you can arrest me, too. I am not letting this guy go! I am not letting him go!
[McGINNIS] Two women were arrested during that protest, and their objections have not fallen on deaf ears. The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a one-year moratorium on the smart meters to allow enough time to look into these objections. Smart meters let utilities and homeowners track ongoing electricity use and are designed to allow more efficient control over energy distribution. The protestors say the meters invade privacy, emit electromagnetic radiation, and lead to higher bills. PG&E says the meters don't pose any health or security threats.
Coming up on "energyNOW!", reaction to the report on the Gulf oil spill. In light of the findings, should deepwater drilling be allowed to resume? I'll be joined by two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who have very different opinions.
Plus, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter pledged he'd make his state a clean-energy leader, bringing in jobs and business. Now that he's leaving office, did he do it? We'll talk to the governor about his energy legacy.
[PHOTO OF PRESIDENT OBAMA, TEXT ON SCREEN] "As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -- but only if we accelerate that transition." June 15, 2010.
[ANNOUNCER] When every moment matters and a life is saved, when someone gives blood, when a hand reaches out, that moment when heartbreak turns to hope, you're there, through the American Red Cross. Down the street, across the country, around the world. You help save the day. Every day. You can help today. Support your local Red Cross.
[McGINNIS] Welcome back. As we told you earlier, the president's oil spill commission's report on the Gulf disaster is out. It's blaming management at BP, Transocean, and Halliburton for failing to take precautions that led to the explosion and the spill, and it says another accident could happen again.
Joining me this week for theMix, Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, Chairman Emeritus of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee of Washington, who is on that committee, also co-chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.
Oil spill commission report is out. Accident could happen again. A series of poor decisions made by management. Joe, do you think we're ready to resume drilling?
[BARTON] I think we are. I don't have any problem with the conclusions of the investigation. I do think industry had gotten a little lax. I think they've learned their lessons and are continuing to learn. But I do think we can safely resume drilling, and I think we need to resume drilling.
[McGINNIS] How can we tackle the safety issues? How can we resume drilling after hearing the results of this report?
[BARTON] That's the first time in 40 years there'd been a major accident like that in the Gulf of Mexico. Hopefully, there won't be another one ever.
[McGINNIS] Systemic problems throughout the industry.
[BARTON] I would take issue with the word "systemic." I would think more they had gotten lax because they had had such a long-term success ratio.
[McGINNIS] This is written by the Republican co-chair of the commission. Jay, can the permitting process tackle these safety issues?
[INSLEE] The American public, I think, would not want to drive a car if they had a car that had this type of fatal disaster and the mechanic came back and told you you've got systemic problems throughout the car and it's not going to be safe until you do some more work. Americans, I don't think, would drive that car again.
[TEXT ON SCREEN] Jay Inslee. Founder, Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. Co-Author, "Apollo's Fire, Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy," 2008.
[INSLEE] And I think there's considerable concern that we're not ready to do that because of these systemic problems.
[McGINNIS] Look how long it took the nuclear industry.
[INSLEE] It does, and these are very deep. If you read the report about what happened in this incident, the thing that's disturbing to me, frankly, about this particular incident is that it had such multiple layers of very erroneous decision-making or lack of decision-making. It wasn't just one -- in all humans, you know, any human can make a mistake, but it wasn't just one human that happened. This was really a systemic failure of multiple system failures, and that's the thing that gives us most concern, so I don't think the American public is comfortable yet driving that car with such problems. Doesn't mean we're not going to get back there, but I think the industry needs more work.
[McGINNIS] Joe, need more work?
[BARTON] Well, I'll agree that they need more work. With oil prices approaching $100 a barrel and 80% of our new production coming from the deep Gulf, to continue to not drill in the Gulf of Mexico --
[TEXT ON SCREEN] Joe Barton. Former Chairman, House Committee on Energy & Commerce.
[McGINNIS] But would you start deepwater drilling today?
[BARTON] I would, on a case-by-case basis, review the existing permits and the platforms that were in operation before the moratorium, and those that can pass muster, I would let them resume drilling, yes, I would.
[McGINNIS] Let's move onto the jobs picture. We heard earlier in the show, the president's big stress is on developing clean energy jobs. Also, amid new concerns about the deficit, where do you think the new jobs are going to be created and can it be done?
[BARTON] Well, Jay and I have a little difference of opinion about what is a clean energy job, but we're on the same side that we need more jobs in America and we both support clean energy.
[McGINNIS] Is any hiring going to be done in clean energy in this kind of environment?
[INSLEE] You bet, and it is being done, and we're excited about the progress being made. The only problem is it's happening 5 to 10 times faster in China than it's happening in the United States. We're very much in a global race right now, and it's a race where the Chinese are out of the chute faster than us. They're putting 5 to 10 times more investment into some of these new technologies. We're doing well where we have innovation, but we've got to get it to the commercialization stage. That includes commercializing the production of lithium-ion batteries. We're starting the first production facility in Michigan because of the stimulus bill that we passed, but the Chinese are ahead of us and we've got to really get out of the gate to catch up.
[McGINNIS] The EPA has started regulating greenhouse gases. What will this do to the job picture?
[BARTON] It's going to kill jobs, hurt jobs. I strongly oppose some of the initiatives that the EPA is taking, and I will use my position as chairman emeritus on the Energy and Commerce Committee to try to bring some...common sense to the EPA regulations.
[McGINNIS] What if the EPA's authority in this area is taken away?
[INSLEE] I don't think it will be. We're not going to allow what I'll call "the dirty air bill" to strip clean energy jobs. If we do continue to enforce the Clean Air bill -- which was a bipartisan success since 1970 and has helped us, but now we have dirtier and dirtier air because of particulates and CO2. We're not going to strip and gut the ability for Uncle Sam to give us cleaner air. And when we do that, when we preserve cleaner air, we're going to grow clean energy jobs. When we start to force investment into solar and wind, and maybe some advanced nuclear, maybe there's a future for coal, to find a way to sequester CO2, but we have to have a mechanism to compel investment into these new technologies. And that is the EPA authority to insist that we keep our air cleaner. So clean air and clean energy jobs go together. If we remove this, it's like taking your foot off the accelerator, that's when the Chinese are going to eat our lunch. So I see this as a job creation mechanism, as well as a health issue for us, and if we look at it that way, I think American know-how is going to win this battle.
[McGINNIS] Tell me what happens to this battle if gas prices keep on rising, they start heading to $4.00. This typically gets the attention of every American. Could it up-end the entire legislative agenda, your plans?
[BARTON] Well, that's a different issue. I do want to take issue with one thing Jay just said. Air quality in America is excellent and getting better. It's not getting worse. And I don't know what he's talking about when he talks about the "dirty air bill." I shouldn't even use the term. But I'm a cosponsor of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. I strongly support Clean Air, but I don't support punitive regulation that has the effect of killing hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and having them go overseas to China. That just doesn't make sense to me.
[McGINNIS] So, where are the jobs going to come from?
[BARTON] Hopefully they'll come from a combination of what Jay strongly supports, which is some of these new technologies, which I've supported also, and part are going to come from developing our conventional resources in the oil and gas industry and clean coal, so that we create an economic base that's cost-competitive in the world economy.
[McGINNIS] Okay, one quick comment from each of you before we end this. Jay, what would you say is the one thing you would like this Congress to accomplish, piece of legislation that you hope will be passed this term?
[INSLEE] I think we're in the mode of preserving our existing efforts and I think keeping the Environmental Protection Act, Clean Air Act, functioning. And what I referred to as "the dirty air act," there will be an effort to strip the EPA of the ability to enforce the Clean Air Act. And that's going to be, I think, the biggest discussion we have in the next two years. And we hope we'll eventually get to a place where we can find a bipartisan consensus that we have a problem on our hands to deal with, and why I say the air is getting worse is because we've had significant increases in very, very dangerous gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, and those two right now are changing the climate we live in. We got a biblical flood in Australia. We had 20 million people dispossessed in Pakistan. That needs to change.
[McGINNIS] Joe, what's the one piece of legislation, realistically?
[BARTON] You're talking energy or generic?
[McGINNIS] Energy, of course.
[BARTON] Uh...it's not going to be a real activist Congress in terms of energy legislation. I do think we're going to do oversight over in the Environmental Protection Agency and make sure they don't exceed their authority under the Clean Air Act, but I don't know that there's...
[McGINNIS] That would be your priority?
[BARTON] ...Any effort to try to go back and change the Clean Air Act in a negative way.
[McGINNIS] We'll have to see how that goes. Congressman Joe Barton, Jay Inslee, thanks so much.
[INSLEE] Thank you. Happy New Year.
[McGINNIS] Let's move now from the heat of politics to the heat of the kitchen, where chefs and home cooks alike still argue over which fuel -- electricity or natural gas -- is the best for cooking. More than half a century ago, utilities thought they had the answer -- the sleek, all-new electric kitchen. "Switch," they told customers, "to clean, cheap electricity, the modern way to cook." Check out this ad from Oklahoma Gas & Electric in this energyTHEN.
[Movie projector switches on]
[TEXT ON SCREEN] OKLAHOMA GAS & ELECTRIC. MEDALLION HOME. LIVE BETTER ELECTRICALLY.
[MAN] This is the sign of modern, total electric living. It means many things to many people, and one of the nicest things is an all-electric kitchen. Electric cooking is so much cooler because it's flameless. Incidentally, did you know it would take a half-ton air-conditioner to remove the excess heat a flame-type stove adds to your kitchen? But that's heat you don't have with a flameless electric range. There are no fumes and sooty products of combustion. Utensils stay bright. No yellowing or staining of walls and curtains, either. And completely safe. No pilot light to blow out, no fuel odors. It's as clean and safe as electric lights.
[TEXT ON SCREEN] Average cost of ELECTRIC COOKING about 2 cents a meal. O G & E.
[MAN] And with economical OG&E electricity, it costs just about 2 cents a meal to cook electrically. All this is why more and more women are changing to electric cooking.
[McGINNIS] And in addition to more and more men cooking today as well, let's check out the "energyNOW!" Reality Meter to see what else has changed since then. Here's a look at 1955.
[GRAPHIC ON SCREEN] ELECTRICITY GENERATION 1955
NATURAL GAS 17%
[McGINNIS] Nearly 2/3 of our electricity was generated by coal and oil, coal making up 55%, oil 7%, and natural gas generating 17%. But since then, our population doubled, our electricity usage increased sevenfold.
[GRAPHIC ON SCREEN] ELECTRICITY GENERATION
NATURAL GAS 24%
[McGINNIS] Natural gas now accounts for nearly a quarter of the electricity generation in the U.S. and oil for nearly none. Coal, it's still the biggest fuel at slightly less than half. And as for the cost, your cooking method really makes the most difference here. A microwave uses far less energy than any conventional oven.
Still ahead, "energyNOW!" heads to Colorado, where outgoing governor Bill Ritter talks to us about his energy accomplishments, jobs, investment, and his energy legacy.
And one state is turning out the lights on the 100-watt light bulb and making it a thing of the past. We'll tell you which state is taking a lead.
[GIRL] We're fighting to make every section a smoke-free section, for a day when even vehicles quit smoking. We're fighting for clear skies over every city. The American Lung Association isn't just fighting for air -- we're fighting for all the things that make it worth breathing. Join us in the fight at fightingforair.org.
[McGINNIS] The light is going out for 100-watt light bulbs. And that's what's in this week's hotZONE. California is the first state to implement a federal law requiring bulbs to use less energy by the start of next year. It doesn't ban incandescent lights but requires that bulbs be made to use 25% to 30% less power. Halogen, compact fluorescent, and LED bulbs that emit 100 watts of light use no more than 72 watts of power. Next year, that standard applies nationwide and will be phased in for other wattage bulbs unless the law is repealed.
Republicans say the law has shipped bulb-manufacturing jobs overseas and want bulb efficiency left a consumer choice.
Well, transitioning away from dirtier fossil fuels toward cleaner renewable energy is a tough balancing act for the U.S., but many states aren't waiting for federal policy; they've forged ahead on their own. Among the most active, Colorado, a state rich in fossil fuels but also pioneering in renewables, led for the last four years by Governor Bill Ritter. He leaves office this week after deciding not to run for a second term, but before leaving, he talked to "energyNOW!" about his energy legacy.
Colorado's vast landscape embodies a massive wealth of natural resources, and when Governor Bill Ritter talks about his four years leading Colorado, it's clear the realities of governing haven't dimmed his passion for transforming Colorado's energy picture.
[RITTER] I think people knew it coming in, that we were very serious about changing the energy culture in Colorado.
[McGINNIS] Changing it for the next generation.
[RITTER] Just use the sun as long as it shines. In Colorado, it shines 360 days a year.
[McGINNIS] While adults in Washington sat in stalemate over energy issues, Ritter spent four years pushing his state ahead. Among his proudest accomplishments, signing a record number of energy bills in one term.
Fifty-seven energy bills. Not a bad record for clean energy.
[RITTER] That's not a bad record. It was over four years.
[SUITERS] Among them, the landmark Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, requiring utilities to move away from coal and toward lower-emitting sources.
Now, that ended up shutting down or trying to transition some of the oldest coal plants.
[RITTER] That's right; there will be three or four of the oldest inefficient coal plants that will transition to natural gas.
[McGINNIS] Another groundbreaking piece of legislation -- he increased Colorado's RES, or Renewable Electricity Standard, requiring utilities get more of their electricity from renewables by the year 2020.
[RITTER] You know, when we signed the first bill that took our renewable energy standard for investor-owned utilities to 20%, that was in the first 100 days that I was governor.
[McGINNIS] He later bumped that RES up to 30%, a move not hailed by all. In fact, Jon Caldara of the Colorado think tank the Independence Institute describes it as...
[CALDERA] Purely miserable and that he really has put the state at a huge competitive disadvantage. And he's really set off a time bomb for expensive energy here in Colorado.
[McGINNIS] How so?
[CALDARA] What he's done is he's taken what was a modest mandate, 10% renewables, and bumped it up to 30%. And we have about 10 years to meet those unreasonable goals.
[McGINNIS] But Ritter maintains that move and others encourages renewable energy firms to locate here. Like wind turbine maker Vestas, which brought 2,600 jobs and a billion dollars in investment. And others, like Namasté Solar.
[RITTER] When Colorado voters became the first in the country to pass a renewable energy standard in 2004, Namasté did not exist.
We have it on the solar front. We have it on the research and development front. Conoco Phillips is building its global research facility for renewable and alternative fuels in Colorado, because we've built this ecosystem. And I'm just ticking off a few.
[McGINNIS] There's Abound Solar, and Germany's SMA Solar.
[RITTER] When they looked in the United States and asked, where were they going to locate their manufacturing plant, where were they going to create jobs, it was Colorado.
[MAN] This is a shaft and rotor assembly.
[McGINNIS] Part of the motor?
[McGINNIS] And it was Colorado for UQM Technologies. That's a maker of hybrid and electric vehicle motors.
[WILLIAM RANKIN, CHAIRMAN, CEO, UQM TECHNOLOGIES] The new energy economy as he's described it is real. I think the state's well positioned. We've got a technology base which I think is on par with anybody in the country.
[McGINNIS] Colorado is also home to major energy research centers, including NREL, a national lab fully devoted to alternative energy.
GEORGE DOUGLAS, SPOKESPERSON, NREL] Solar, wind, biomass, energy-efficient buildings. We do some geothermal work, some hydrogen work.
[McGINNIS] And have you noticed the governor's support of the renewables industries over these four years of his term?
[DOUGLAS] We absolutely noticed the governor's support of renewables and of the laboratory itself.
[McGINNIS] But ask Caldara about the clean energy jobs Ritter helped recruit and he asks...
[CALDARA] What about the jobs lost? When you are punishing coal companies, when you are raising the prices of electricity, when you're making it so that manufacturing cannot happen in the state because it will be too cost-prohibitive, you're hurting jobs.
[McGINNIS] Ritter agrees some jobs will go away in a transition like this.
[RITTER] If there is no way for us to burn coal and do it in a way that reduces the emissions that we presently experience, then the industry is going to likely suffer. So that's one industry.
[McGINNIS] The number of jobs is larger than those being lost?
[RITTER] Absolutely, absolutely.
[McGINNIS] But all told, Ritter leaves believing he's made a difference.
[RITTER] I think we've left a lot to build upon, where it's a completely different place than where we started. And we've made the case that you can really achieve energy security in this country by looking at domestic sources, including a more serious attention paid to natural gas and renewables, and energy efficiency. If you do that, then you can create jobs, and you can, and a residual benefit, a big residual benefit is you wind up addressing climate issues and environmental challenges. And you can get it all -- with one focus on a clean energy economy, you get all of those things.
[McGINNIS] Things he hopes will make a difference in Colorado's future.
[RITTER] But over time, in your lifetime, we're going to transition to a lot of other ways to use energy and to emit, and you're going to be a part of that.
[McGINNIS] Governor Ritter is headed for Colorado State University where he'll be director of the Center for the New Energy Economy. He says he'll build on his internationally leading clean energy accomplishments of the past four years.
And that's it for this week's "energyNOW!" You can find us online at energyNOW.com. If you have story ideas, questions or comments, you can e-mail us at [email protected] and we're on Twitter and Facebook at energyNOWnews. See you next week.
Energy Jobs: Tyler Suiters looks at how to grow jobs in the clean energy sector. President Obama has a goal of creating 800,000 clean energy jobs in the next year. Is it feasible? And what constitutes a “green job,” anyway? Tyler talks to economists, experts and most importantly, workers themselves, as they try to make it in the new economy.
This week's Plugged-In brings you the release of a key chapter from the Presidential oil spill commission's report, which blames the Deepwater Horizon disaster on “systemic problems” in management of the offshore oil industry; Also: a ruling that will likely put Shell's plans to drill off the coast of Alaska on hold; and a fight in Marin County, CA, over smart meters.
On the Mix, Reps. Joe Barton, R-TX, and Jay Inslee, D-WA, discuss the oil spill commission's conclusions and what they mean for the future of offshore drilling. They also discuss plans in Congress to rein in the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Energy Then brings you one utility's vision of “modern living” in the 1950s: An all-electric kitchen.
On the Hot Zone: California is the first state in the nation to implement a federal law requiring light bulbs to use less energy. The rest of us follow next year—unless the law’s repealed.
And Susan McGinnis looks at the energy legacy of Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. He spent the last four years leading a state that is an energy microcosm of the rest of the country: abundant in both fossil fuels and renewable energy resources. He was successful in setting a 30% renewable energy standard, getting utilities to convert coal-fired power plants to natural gas, and attracting renewable energy companies with thousands of jobs to his state. So what does Ritter's energy legacy look like?
Chief Correspondent Tyler Suiters looks at Clean Energy Jobs: How are they created, and who benefits from them.Watch now ...
Susan McGinnis takes a look at Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's energy legacy.Watch now ...
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Today, in the UK, the world's oldest nuclear power plant shut down.Read more ...
The U.S. led the world in clean energy investment in 2011, but China retained the top spot in the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index from Ernst & Young.Read more ...