National Clean Energy Summit | Tweeting Las Vegas

| Tue Aug. 11, 2009 2:09 PM PDT

Tweeting coverage from the National Clean Energy Summit, August 10, Las Vegas, NV,  in chronological order.

To learn more about the individuals named below check out the official agenda, here.

9:18 Out of work union members presser: Clean energy is key to jobs in NV.

9:59 Energy Summit about to start. I hope they turn down the loud techno music.

10:05 Out of work plumber local 525 says "no jobs anywhere." Her preteen son adds: "there are in China." No laughs.

10:23 Harry Reid's up at bat. "We're known for producing great athletes, now we're going to be known for producing great scientists."

10:25 Schwarzenegger won't be here -- mother in law ill. [Eunice Kennedy Shriver passes away at 2 am the next morning]

10:32 Al Gore joshing about Harry Reid creating energy jobs...in Nevada.

10:35 Gore: #ACES [climate bill] is important step. Now Senate is going to take it up. Sec. Chu, Tim Worth, John Podesta, Sec. Solis all working for this.

10:38 Gore: National program to repower America is just what the doctor ordered...for financial crisis.

10:39 Gore: Gore: Who R we 2 ignore the warnings of scientists on global warming. Kids will ask us "what wr U all doing, watching Am. Idol?"

10:41 Reid intros Tim Wirth, early supporter of fight against global warming.

10:41 Tim Worth is head of UN Foundation.

10:43 Wirth: Energy and jobs can be looked at separately, but they go hand-in-hand.

10:46 Keith Schwer, UNLV business school using LV as example. 1900, LV pop was 17. 2000 pop. 2 million. (I didn't know that!)

10:52 Sec Chu on getting renewable energy to scale. "US has an incredible opp. We need to have a second industrial revolution."

10:54 Sec Chu: China understands no more biz as usual. They plan on being the leader. But we can be, unless we miss the opp.

10:55 Chu: Energy efficiency is going to be the "lowest hanging fruit" for the next couple of decades.

10:57 Chu: Supports biofuels -- "It doesn't have to be food or fuel." He ends and gets a large round of applause.

10:59 50 minutes in and no women speakers so far.

11:02 Hey, Amory Lovins gets a shout out for making Americans aware of energy efficiency.

11:04 Marc Porat, CEO of Serious Materials: Making cement puts out as much CO2 as all automobiles together.

11:05 Porat: "We're so blessed" to have the Obama administration who "gets it" on jobs-energy-CO2.

11:10 One hour, a woman at last: Rose McKinney James - Energy Foundation Boards.

11:12 James: Talks about the importance of state utility boards. More info needs to get to states.

11:15 John Woolard, Bright Source Energy. We have to build 2000 GW between now and 2050. That's 50GW a year. "We're losing ground."

11:18 "Pin-up stimulus" -- plans that are ready, but delayed by permitting. Basic, boring, but key. John Woolard.

11:21 Stephanie Burns, CEO Dow Corning, maker of PV cells. Wants more support 4 job training programs, more financing 4 US manufacturers.

11:24 Lucien Bronicki, a pioneer of geothermal energy. This industry has jobs that can't be off-shored.

11:28 NYT has good editorial on climate bill today. Wonder if the people around the table read it?

11:30 Gen. Wes Clark making the case for biofuels. If we invested in biofuels it would take Hugo Chavez out of the picture. Hmmm.

11:30 Denise Bode, American Wind Energy Assoc.: Wind is up to scale, ready to rock and roll right now.

11:35 Bode: US led the world in new wind power last year. China will prob. take that over this year. We need long term commitment in US.

11:36 Bode, as others, talks about the importance of smart grid.

11:38 A tweet by Sen. Reid just appeared. He was looking down for a while. Hi, Senator!

11:40 T. Boone Pickens: "I'm kinda an oddball in this group." Quite laughter before he explains he means he's a Repub.

11:42 Pickens: Energy security is number one for me. But I do believe global warming is happening.

11:45 Pickens: Says diesel 18-wheelers should be forced to switch to natural gas.

11:47 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA): Energy is a $6 trillion industry; the "mother of all markets."

11:51 FYI, this is the most mainstream, ardent capitalistic pro-new energy discussion I've ever heard!

11:52  Another FYI, Gore looks more fit than I've seen him in some time. New energy diet?

11:54 Gore is most impressive in his command of the full range of new technologies.

11:56 Gore: We invent all these new technologies, but then manufacturing goes overseas.

11:57 Gore goes through the history of "obsolete" energy system. "It's ridiculous!"

Noon Gore: The old way of thinking about [energy transmission] needs to change. Talks re cogeneration. 65% of coal energy lost as heat.

12:03 Gore's frustration with "old thinking" is palpable. He's slugging away. Impressive.

12:05 Gore is taking this country by the lapels and shaking us.

12:10 Van Jones - White House Council on Environmental Quality: We should be able to come together as a country on this one.

12:12 Jones: His theme is common ground. New energy "is fiscally conservative." Talks about health, too.

12:13 Jones "We're asking questions that liberals like, and offering answers that conservatives like."

12:15 Jones is impassioned, too. And it's infectious. Biggest applause from the room so far.

12:17 LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: We met Kyoto standard by Oct. 2008. "We are moving fast and hard."

12:22 Gore appears to be chewing gum. If it were Obama, I'd guess Nicorette. I bet he's calculated how much energy is used per chew.

12:30 Gore asks utility owner wht cn B done 2 lower inefficiencies from coal-fired power plants. The guy dances a bit. Gore bulldogs him.

12:32 Gore continues after utility owner. Is it regs? No, he sez. Basically: I don't know.

12:35 Sec of Labor Hilda Solis: Everybody needs to participate in recovery. Too many areas, rural, poor, have been traditionally left out.

12:41 Danny Thompson, NV, AFL-CIO: Works here have been suffering. "Manufacturing represents 75% of new energy jobs; we need them here."

12:44 NV State Sen. Steven Horsford: "NV is at the center of renewable energy." OK, I know we're in NV, but, AZ is the center. Just sayin'

12:46 Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of NA: 1.6 million construction workers out of work.

12:49 O’Sullivan: 100 million houses in the US that need to be weatherized.

12:50 O’Sullivan: Green jobs need to be careers, not fly-by-night operations. (aka: temporary and low paying.)

12:52 Tim Wirth is wrapping up morning session. I'll be posting pix later at the Mother Jones blog site.

LUNCH BREAK [Time of tweets not recorded, but still in chronological order.

And we're back...Harry Reid is introducing President Clinton.

Clinton: Thanks to Al Gore for his long struggle...even when he was referred to as "Ozone Man." [By GHWB]

Clinton: I asked Al Gore are we going to get something about deforestation in Copenhagen? He says yes.

Clinton talking about the loss of almost 7 million jobs. The least sexy topics are where the solutions are.

Clinton: If we close 22% of old dirty coal plants, we could cut emissions in half. (citing Robert Kennedy, Jr.)

Clinton: We are still piddling with this. (Green economy)

Clinton points out that the cities that are doing the most in terms of greening economy are already the greenest.

Clinton talks about retrofitting Empire State Building. Great, but its a drop in the bucket.

Clinton: The best solution is that utilities finance retrofitting homes.

Clinton calls for an energy equivalent to the Small Business Administration. $900 billion in banks not committed. Use it.

Clinton: You've got to get the banks involved in this if you want to stop piddling around.

Clinton: Suggests $10K from gov. to buyers of EVs! [Sign me up!]

Clinton still has his ability to connect with people, even in a large room. Amazing.

Clinton: Let's take what NV is doing and put it on steroids. There are millions dying to go to work.

Clinton finishes by urging people to make the energy bill even stronger. Now, setting up final panel. Town hall meeting.

email questions to panel: questions@cleanenergysummit.org

Panel in place: Podesta, Gore, Reid, Pickens and Cathy Zoi.

Opening talk is about Gore's forthcoming book on climate solutions, coming out Nov 3: "Our Choice."

Gore: We are at a moment of choosing. Quotes several holy texts: You can choose life, or death; blessings or curses.

Gore about birthers: they're putting a bit of poison into American politics.

Gore: the key challenge is to get a bill passed in the Senate. Political will is a renewable resource.

Gore warns against thinking of China and India as being the same when it comes to climate change.

Cathy Zoi: There's no "land problem" with having giant solar facilities. [Lots of us would take issue with that one]

Harry Reid: The potential for solar in the southwest for CSP is unlimited. [Uh-oh]

Boone Pickens: When natural gas is cheap, wind is too expensive. [Only because the market leaves out true cost of things]

Gore: Lots of Fortune 500 companies are now backing this change. They see it's a low carbon future.

Gore: In order to address the climate crisis, we're going to have to address the democracy crisis in this country.

Q from audience re leaky air ducts.

Cathy Zoi agrees it's important to make sure air ducts don't leak. This is great; getting down to nitty gritty.

Gore points out that CA hasn't increased energy usage in years. See: Negawatts.

Reid gets back to energy transmission. I won't be satisfied with nrg bill, without strong transmission component.

Reid: FERC should be able to condemn land for transmission lines.

Van Jones We're going to make sure that veterans aren't left out of the new green jobs. (in response to question from Iraq war vet.)

Interesting: Lots of support in audience on veterans & jobs. [But, will it happen this time?]

Obviously this is a self selected crowd, but still, remarkably little despair. Lots of optimism, lots of desire to DO something.

Pickens: China has done $100 billion of deals on energy to (lists countries). Where's the US in this?

Gore: People are afraid these changes will mean higher energy prices. The best way to push prices up is to do nothing.

Pickens says we reached peak oil in 2006. Gore says, if not, it'll be soon. Need to power shift.

Pickens 2 Gore: Do heads of state complain to you about US having small share of world pop. but using too much oil. G: Well, yeah!

This is wrapping up. I'll be tweeting the presser afterward.

Gore: John Podesta is a national resource.

Huh, Gore says Cathy Zoi created the Energy Star program at EPA years ago. Didn't know that, but aren't the reviews mixed?

This has been a long day, but even as it ends, few people are leaving. Lots of energy here, apparently.

Gore: We have an obligation to steer by the stars and not by the lights of each passing ship. (quoting of Omar Bradley)

Gore's quote meant: Take the long view, for once, America!

Reid: There are people out there who will do everything they can to stop leg. on energy, even if it means lying.

Reid takes a populist stand against special interests.

Reid: Speak out against the evil-mongers who want to take our country away from us.

END OF TOWN HALL MEETING

Presser should begin in a minute or two. Standing by.....

Al Gore not here. But Reid, Pickens and Podesta are for wrap-up presser.

Reid: We'll never be a secure nation without being independent of foreign oil.

Reid: NV is the poster child of public lands.

Podesta: We need stronger policies and leadership. The discussions here today were about going further on the road map.

Pickens speaks for natural gas as a short term way to get off foreign oil while we put solar and wind into place.

Reid calls biofuels "extremely important."

I ask Podesta : Did they mean to suggest that desert lands can be exploited 4 solar pw w/no enviro considerations? A: c next tweet

Podesta: We cn do CSP in the desert in a thoughtful, environmental way. We did desert land pres. in the Clinton WH. We'll do it here.

And that does it, folks. Thanks for following. Check back at MJ and Phoenix Sun for more later.

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