Geoff Greenfield on Diane Rehm Show

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On Wednesday, June 5 Geoff Greenfield participated in a segment of the Diane Rehm Show (national NPR, WOUB in Athens, Ohio). The segment topic was “America’s Energy Future Beyond Oil and Gas” and the participants included Christine Todd Whitman of the CASEnergy Coalition, former governor of New Jersey and former administrator of the EPA; Rhone Resch of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); Robert Gramlich of American Wind Energy Association; and Coral Davenport of National Journal. The full transcript is available here.

REHM

All right. To Athens, Ohio. Good morning, Geoff.

GEOFF

Hi. Good morning, Diane.

REHM

Hi there. Go ahead, please.

GEOFF

Thanks, Diane. First off, I’m a big fan, and thanks a lot for focusing your show on this important subject.

REHM

Indeed. You’re welcome.

GEOFF

So 14 years ago, we started Third Sun Solar. We’re a solar company here in Ohio. We’re what you’d call an installation business. We work on residential rooftops and commercial buildings across the Midwest. Right now, it’s a beautiful sunny day here, and our crews are out on the job today building clean power plants and earning a great living. So these are the jobs that really can’t be shifted overseas.

The part of the solar value chain that has to be local is on the rooftop and out in the solar, you know, field. So I’m wondering why we don’t hear as much about this incredible opportunity for economic development and job creation that solar and wind power present.

REHM

Rhone.

RESCH

Well, there’s over 120,000 people employed in the [solar industry in the] United States today. And the great thing about solar, you create more jobs per megawatt than any other energy technology out there. So you really have a confluence of both energy policy, environmental policy and economic policy when you’re growing the solar industry. And as Geoff points out, these are small businesses, right?

These are the backbone of our economy. These are roofers, electricians, plumbers. But those were let go by the housing industry starting a new business. You know, Third Sun Solar is a great example of somebody coming out of the housing and electricity industry and creating a solar business that’s thriving in creating jobs.

REHM

And you’re listening to “The Diane Rehm Show.” Gov. Whitman, you wanted to say something.