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Those who know or use Duke power don't really like them especially for their wide use of coal, mentioned in the opening of this article.

But with time on my hands, the past couple of years leading into early retirement with the collapse of the construction industry, I've been following them as well as trying to follow others, not much on the others, as to innovation in new energy development and needs and a green economy.

They have actually not been a big corporate machine that has been sitting on there bottom line these past couple of years. They've been moving rapidly into solar and wind. Either by themselves or partnering with others or buying up existing solar and wind developments others had already built. Not fast enough, especially here in NC, to make a big dent in all the unemployed trades, architects and engineers, but have put many back to work.

They have been one of the extremely few who have been doing what we as a country once did, coming out of World War II as an after the war baby I grew up in and then into my working professional years. As the middle class was growing and expanding and the rest of the world envied us for practically everything and some tried to emulate.

We certainly could have use some billions more in that public stimulus monies as we haven't seen much of any private investments in what we once were real good at, innovation and advancing.

Talking Energy with America's Greenest Coal Exec
Mar. 02, 2011 - Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, a utility company based in Charlotte, N.C., is a wild card in the electricity sector. His company supplies 35,000 megawatts of power to consumers in the Southeast and Midwest, most of it through coal or nuclear, making him one of the biggest carbon emitters in the country. Yet it was Rogers who emerged as a key corporate player in the attempt to build a grand alliance for a carbon-cap-and-trade bill between 2008 and 2010. In "The Climate War", his book on the legislative battle, the journalist (and former TIME editor) Eric Pooley ably described Rogers not only as a "silver-tongued devil" who could "talk the down off a duckling," but also as the only man who could have gotten corporate America on board for a climate bill.
snip

"There's a vacuum of public policy now," Rogers told me in an interview in New York City on Monday. "There's a lot of uncertainty in regards to environmental regulation, period."

snip

Ending that uncertainty is why Rogers — unusual for a coal-heavy utility chief — was in favor of cap and trade in the first place. He sees his industry going through a fundamental transformation as it moves from the 20th century to the 21st century, both for climate reasons and because of concerns over traditional air pollution. "In the 20th century, the goal was universal access to electricity," he says. "In the 21st century it will be about modernization, and by 2050 all our existing plants but hydro" may be closed down or changed because of environmental regulations.

snip

"Just a sliver of our national budget goes to research," he says. "If we can't get a consensus on carbon policy, let's put the money into research and let's drive down the cost of solar and wind and make them competitive. Think about how much it would change the debate if solar and wind were as cheap as coal?"

Rogers is echoing a line that's coming from the White House itself, along with a number of energy researchers and writers. If you can't get the politics together for a hard carbon cap — and given the makeup of the U.S. Senate, with the disproportionate power of some coal states, that might never happen — the next best thing is to ramp up our spending on government energy R&D. {continued}

The highlighted section above is what we once were extremely good at, not just in R&D but throughout our business and workforce with the innovative minds of many added to the innovative business minds who far out numbered the greedy, building small businesses into corporations with everyone moving forward with their combined labors. That started changing back in the late 70's, slowly at first, then in the 80's moving more rapidly. Business practices went bottom line, business execs became famous and even worshiped as the best of the best for buying up successful or growing small businesses adding them to the business stables they were growing stripping them down to squeeze out profit throwing everything else out.

Others, especially as to the innovative energy needs and a greener planet, are rapidly taking that lead, they now even have what we once did, innovative work forces with their experiences growing, we lost much of that long ago. In most cases we're not even following except for the few who are investing there and not here.

Bottom line, their economies are growing and advancing, what we once were envied by them for, ours is quickly disintegrating, just look around.

Video: The Governors' Global Climate Summit

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:52:55 AM PST

  •  EU attempting to develop a plan.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, koNko
    •  The EU (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, skillet

      As well as many so called third world countries and especially China, Duke has teamed with a company there in building whole Green Cities, are rapidly coming on line as to Green.

      They are the ones that once envied us, now they've started doing what we were real good at in my younger years and earlier work history.

      Climate change is only a part of the reason, the rest comes with societies advancing into the new. Here the old guards got the wealth to fight taking away what they have been really comfortable with and it's reaped them that wealth. These aren't intelligent business minds, they're greedy fools that only look at dollar signs and paper worth figures!!

      "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:31:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  TVA phasing out coal powered plants.....going (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, jimstaro, koNko

        natural gas and nuclear.

        •  As To Nuclear (0+ / 0-)

          Some, Duke included, have been recently saying what many of us in the construction industry already knew, that solar, wind, sustainable energy is Much Cheaper then Nuclear.

          To bring a Nuke plant online and the costs to then maintain, especially as just to safety, is Huge, so it takes awhile to get back on the initial investment to build and the continued costs to maintain which cuts that holy bottom line, can't cut costs in many if any area's, i.e. as to safety and maintenance on deep water oil drilling rigs, without it eventually costing Huge when an accident etc. happens.

          They would like Nuke but if they can get returns quicker and on lower maintenance projects, green, that makes them a better investment in the long term. And who knows now, if we ever stop talking about and start really doing, what else can be developed!

          "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

          by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:34:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Should also add (0+ / 0-)

            Natural gas as well as coal fired planets, Huge amounts to bring on line and maintain, look what happens to gas plants when preventive maintenance costs are cut and when it does we pay just like the Gulf Oil Blowout.

            Compared to wind and solar and who knows what else.

            Though one thing I'd like to see advance with wind and solar is finding the ways to build these projects where you could use the land on, except maybe in the deserts, for other purposes, safely, like farming and not corporate farming.

            "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

            by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:57:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  What motivates a corp (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, jimstaro, sodalis, koNko, JeffW

    is still the bottom line, even if they are moving toward green.  A corporation is not a human.  It is motivated by profit.  We know that and we can just accept that.  It's why corporations should not be permitted to have a voice or a vote.

    When a corporation like Duke Energy goes for the green, it does so because it believes it is a profitable market for the future.

    It's up to us and our lawmakers to ensure that is the case.  And that can only happen if we commit to it in policy and action.

    Even Exxon Mobil's logo will show up on wind sites and solar projects, the very moment they think they can make money in it.

    We should not assume that because a company pursues something for which we progressives are in favor, that it is the intrinsic good of that thing which motivates them.  There is no such thing.

    I'm not afraid of guns! I'm afraid of the people that obsess over owning them.

    by Detroit Mark on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:24:01 AM PST

    •  coal producers will likely face no liabilities but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro

      if you are burning coal..you should probably be a bit concerned.

    •  Profit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Detroit Mark, JeffW

      Has always been made or sought, that was what we were good at, but everyone at least got a piece of that pie, I know once older folks, gone now, who by smart long term investments made bundles, these were farmers, workers etc. and did so by long term investment and when Wall Street wasn't just a casino, it actually had public companies that used the investments to grow. That all stopped roughly some thirty years back.

      If you lived in it and paid attention you'd know what I'm saying, if you didn't you grew up in the great con and propaganda game, along with easy credit scheme's, and won't get it!

      Buy the way, solar was going on some thirty to forty years ago, I know I did projects with, but was stopped in it's tracks by the powers making the wealth then, just think who'd be the leader in and how advanced we'd be if the innovators were allowed to continue and us tradesmen were adding to those innovations!

      "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:38:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  By The Way (0+ / 0-)

      You're like most, stuck on the meme's the detractors want you to be stuck on, and the wealth is running those meme's.

      Green and climate change, reason they keep using global warming and not climate change, are just part of the picture, a big part, but advancing innovations etc. are what keeps an economy healthy and growing and the reason one needs a higher education industry!

      "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:46:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are a few visionaries out there. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, jimstaro

    But they're drowned out by the meatheads at the Chamber of Commerce and American Enterprise Institute, who get all the invitations to appear on the financial shows.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:42:35 AM PST

    •  The Old Guard, (0+ / 0-)

      Member how the front pages and everyone made them into superstars and the best minds around, now have the monies, look at the kocks, to keeping making the money the thirty some years of the old way and they don't want what we once were, though not perfect it was a hell of allot better then the recent decades and advancing on pretty much all fronts.

      This system has been doing extremely pousy 'capitalism' and the few like it that way, screw the rest of us, their customers, plenty of bodies to keep it goin till they're in the ground and they certainly don't give a damn about the generations coming!

      "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:58:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Green power is much further along than we.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, jimstaro

    ....here at DKos seem to believe, by the way.

    Seems like most months I'll hear about another major corporation involved in some green power project.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:47:50 AM PST

    •  Oh It Is (0+ / 0-)

      But in this country and with many hoarding their investment dollars it's just creeping along while others are rapidly advancing. China used what was to rebuild their system, now that they're where they are they see the light and the enhanced advancement clean will bring and are moving into fast!

      "I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:00:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is how it is working in China (0+ / 0-)

    Basicaly, the government has set quotas to power companies to invest in clean energy and also for large state-owned COAL companies, so for example, Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, a coal mining company town is building a 2GW Solar Farm in partnership with (US based) First Solar and China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co., Ltd.

    This makes sense.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:04:23 AM PST

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