Warner: Being green could be easy

Seize the “enormous opportunity” of green energy technologies, technology entrepreneur and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner told a hotel auditorium packed with Washington area business leaders June 5.

“Lots in this room, particularly some of our chronic entrepreneurs that may be deciding what’s next, think about the intersection between [information technology] and our power grid,” Warner said in a speech at the Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards dinner. “Think about if America would take its appropriate and rightful role in leading the technological developments of these clean energy fuels what that would do in terms of restoring our stature in the world.”

Warner said finding alternative energy solutions was one of the great challenges of our time. He said alternative energy is not just an environmental issue but also an issue of national security.

“In my view, our current national energy policy basically can be reduced to the sound bite that says 'borrow money from China to buy oil from countries around the world that don’t like us,'” Warner said.

The former governor was being honored at the event with the Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame Award for career achievement. Before becoming governor in 2002, Warner was a high-tech businessman who co-founded the venture capital firm Columbia Capital and the company that would become Nextel. Reflecting on his business career in the region, Warner said that he was fortunate to have gotten involved in the telecommunications and IT industries when he did.

“I’ll make this prediction: that the development of clean tech alternative energy and fuels that don’t emit greenhouse gases could have the same economic engine effect over the next 25 years that telecom and IT had for the last 25,” Warner said.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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