The Podesta, Pickens, and Pope Power Summit 3

Posted by Wonk Room Wed, 27 Aug 2008 22:02:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

At the Big Tent in Denver, Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, and oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens engaged in a discussion about our energy future. Pickens, who believes that our global oil production is at its peak and will soon inexorably decline, discussed his “Pickens Plan” for a massive increase in wind and solar electricity production and a shift for trucking fleets from diesel to natural gas. Podesta noted that the climate crisis is evident today, in the flooding in Florida and the increasing threat of powerful hurricanes. “The cost of doing nothing,” Podesta said, “is extremely substantial.”

This panel of three highly powerful individuals from the environmental, progressive, and conservative energy industry communities represented a remarkable confluence of priorities, in recognizing the energy crisis and the need to get off oil. As Carl Pope described:
If our politics was even vaguely functional, anything that all three of us agree on would have happened long ago. We have some very deep profound political problems. Our politics are broken.

Pickens himself, a highly influential fundraiser for right-wing politicians, described how his money has gotten him access in Washington but that he had learned that his contributions don’t translate to policy. He expressed his enthusiasm for the ability of the Pickens Plan campaign to reach millions on the Internet and mobilize hundreds of thousands of people. He argued, “I’m not doing this to make money. My entire estate will go to charity when I go. We are now importing almost 70 percent of our oil. It’s too much. We’re not talking about my generation—we can make it to the finish line.”

Pope explained what Newt Gingrich and other conservatives are really trying to do with their drill-drill-drill agenda, when they know that lifting the offshore drilling moratorium won’t deliver new oil to this country.

What is it about? It’s about distracting us from the conversation we ought to be having. As long as we’re talking about drill drill drill, it distracts Americans from the fact there’s a chasm between the two candidates. It’s a huge headfake by Karl Rove.

At the end of the conversation, Podesta and Pickens talked about their political differences. Pickens – who helped sponsor the Big Tent – admitted he is inclined to defend oil companies, who work for their shareholders and are run by his friends. When challenged by Podesta for having given significant contributions to “the gang on Capitol Hill who have been blocking the renewable production tax credit,” Pickens, with resignation apparent in his face, said, “I grind on them . . . I don’t have the time.” He argued that he is now trying to act on behalf of the American people, to avoid being partisan, to move past the old politics—the politics that he has spent millions to sustain.

The Future of Environmentalism 6

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 27 Aug 2008 20:00:00 GMT

With energy and environmentalism weighting heavily on the minds of all Americans, The New Republic will be hosting a two-part discussion series at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This series will allow convention attendees a rare opportunity to engage with policy leaders and key innovators at the forefront of the energy and environmental debate. The series is open to all convention attendees and within walking distance to the Denver Convention Center and surrounding hotels.

  • Carl Pope, Executive Director, The Sierra Club
  • Representative George Miller (D-CA)
  • Representative Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Matt Bennett, Vice President for Public Affairs, Third Way
  • Brian F. Keane, President, SmartPower
  • Ted Nordhaus, Chairman, The Breakthrough Institute; Co-author, Break Through
  • Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University Law Professor and Author, Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment
  • Franklin Foer, Editor of The New Republic, moderator

Tattered Cover Book Store, 16th & Wynkoop, Denver

The Future of Environmentalism 11

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:00:00 GMT

With energy and environmentalism weighting heavily on the minds of all Americans, The New Republic will be hosting a two-part discussion series at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This series will allow convention attendees a rare opportunity to engage with policy leaders and key innovators at the forefront of the energy and environmental debate. The series is open to all convention attendees and within walking distance to the Denver Convention Center and surrounding hotels.

  • Carl Pope, Executive Director, The Sierra Club
  • Representative George Miller (D-CA)
  • Representative Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Matt Bennett, Vice President for Public Affairs, Third Way
  • Brian F. Keane, President, SmartPower
  • Ted Nordhaus, Chairman, The Breakthrough Institute; Co-author, Break Through
  • Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University Law Professor and Author, Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment
  • Franklin Foer, Editor of The New Republic, moderator

Tattered Cover Book Store, 16th & Wynkoop, Denver

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: The New Energy Economy 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:30:00 GMT

Facilitator: Vijay Vaitheeswaran

Introduction: The Government’s Role in the New Energy Economy
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer
  • Rep. Ed Markey
  • Gavin Newsom
  • Greg Nickels
  • Federico Peña
  • Gov. Bill Ritter Jr.
  • Sen. Ken Salazar
Topic Expansion: Corporate and Community Initiatives in the New Energy Economy
  • Dan Arvizu
  • Mark Falcone
  • Van Jones
  • Carl Pope
  • Jon Ratner
  • Rhone Resch
  • Heather Stephenson

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: Sir Nicholas Stern Keynote 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Sir Nicholas Stern delivers the Climate Change Roundtable keynote.

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: Energy in a Carbon-Constrained Economy 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 14:00:00 GMT

Moderator: Ray Suarez

Introduction: Three Carbon Sources
  • Robert A. Hefner III
  • Dick Kelly
  • Steven Leer
  • Andrew Liveris
  • Fred Palmer
Topic Expansion: Addressing the Economic Constraints
  • William S. Becker
  • Carol Browner
  • Jerome Ringo
  • Tim Wirth
Topic Expansion : Challenges and Opportunities
  • D. James Baker
  • Rep. Richard Gephardt
  • Kevin Knobloch
  • David Lester
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill
  • Michael Northrop
  • Randy Udall

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: The Business of Climate Change 7

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Moderator: Rick Stengel

Introduction: Practical Examples of the Business Impact

  • Dan Hendrix
  • Mike Kaplan
  • Dr. Jeff Kenna
  • Rose McKinney James
  • Dan Reicher
Topic Expansion: Resources for Business Leadership
  • Frances Beinecke
  • Leo Gerard
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Ira Magaziner
  • Navin Nayak
  • John Podesta
  • Dan Sperling

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

ACCCE to Spend $2 Million at Democratic National Convention 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:41:00 GMT

The Politico’s Jeanne Cummings reports that the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is spending $2 million at the Democratic National Convention on billboards and street teams to promote the coal industry:
The Democrats are mighty proud of the “greening” of their convention. Recycling will be celebrated, as will bicycling and a whole host of other environmentally sound practices.

Amid the glow from all that global warming warfare enters the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Yep, those fellows have got guts.

The coal coalition, a nemesis to many environmentalists, plans to spend $2 million on advertising in and around the Denver convention venues, promoting the virtues of clean coal.

It will also be doing “experiential advertising,” meaning the group will put people on the streets to actually talk to conventioneers about the role coal could play in future energy policy.

The street teams will also be handing out city maps with blurbs inserted about the importance of the coal-based electricity industry and ongoing research into capturing and storing carbon emissions from those plants.

“We started this conversation with policymakers and the American public in 2000,” said Joe Lucas, the coalition’s vice president of communications. “We’ve significantly turned up the volume on that conversation in the last year.”

And the coalition figured, what better place to go to continue that conversation than at the conventions?

In billboards and other ads, the coalition will argue that the coal-based electricity industry can help keep jobs at home, reduce costs for consumers and — with more research — find its own tidy spot in an environmentally cleaner energy future.

“Clean coal means the next president won’t have to choose between the economy and the environment,” concluded Lucas, adding that both Barack Obama and John McCain already see coal in the nation’s future energy industry.

This will be the coalition’s first appearance at the two political conventions. But Denver is clearly the group’s best shot at a breakthrough moment.

The Conventions 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:15:00 GMT

Hill Heat will be adding relevant events at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions to its listings, including The New Republic’s “Future of Environmentalism” series (interestingly only with wealthy white men) and the Rocky Mountain Roundtable’s Energy and Climate series, which features a keynote by Sir Nicholas Stern. (Times are local.)